An unusual week of action for the Concordia women's basketball team saw the Cougars lose in overtime to last-place Aurora University on Tuesday night by a 65-62 score before turning around to hand NIIC-leading Benedictine University their first conference loss on Saturday by a 78-72 final. The Cougars are currently in second place with a 4-2 NIIC mark, just 1/2 game behind 4-1 Benedictine.
Concordia jumped out to an 18-5 lead after six minutes and led 41-35 at halftime as Alissa Johnson scored 15 first-half points. Benedictine overcame an early second-half deficit of 11 points to take a brief lead, but freshman point guard Ellie Bravo put on a magnificent performance down the stretch, scoring 23 of her career-high 30 points in the second half and recording 15 of the Cougars' final 17 points. Bravo hit two noteworthy 3-pointers in the run, the first coming as the shot clock expired for a 70-62 lead and the second coming from the corner as she was falling backwards for a 75-66 lead with 2:27 remaining.
Johnson added 17 points and 10 rebounds to support Bravo's offense, and Atoi Sinclair added nine points and 12 rebounds. The Cougars (7-10) will host Concordia Wisconsin on Friday at 6 p.m. in the first round of the 54th annual Concordia Invitational tournament.
Men's basketball: The Cougar men had the misfortune of running up against the co-conference leaders last week, losing to Aurora University 98-62 on Wednesday and to Benedictine University 90-60 on Saturday.
Bobby Smith scored 13 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Cougars while Andre Smith (no relation) added 12 points. Against Benedictine, Bobby Smith scored 16 points, the only Cougar to score in double figures.
The Cougar men will host Concordia Seward (Neb.) in the first round of the 54th annual Concordia Invitational tournament on Friday at 8 p.m.
Stars fall victim to injuries
The Dominican University Stars already have three more wins than the entire 2003-2004 season with an overall record of 7-10 to date. However, the Stars, flirting with a .500 season, have experienced some major and some nagging injuries in recent weeks.
With sophomore Derek Pedersen, the team's second-leading scorer, sidelined with an ankle injury, the Stars dropped back-to-back games last week. On Saturday, the Stars fell 70-51 at Lakeland College.
The Stars shot just 33 percent in the first half falling behind 40-20 over the game's first 20 minutes. Binyamin Jones paced the Stars with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Jones shot 7-for-11 from the field, going 2-for-3 from three, in 33 minutes of work. Ocie Peet added 15 points in the losing effort.
On Tuesday, the Stars hosted NIIC opponent Clarke College and fell to the Crusaders 82-64, despite four Stars players scoring in double-figures led by freshman Ivano Clay's 15 points and eight assists. Clay went 4-for-7 from the field including three three-point field goals. Ronald Moore chipped in 11 points while Bernie Talian and Ocie Peet added 10 points apiece as the Stars fell to 2-3 in the NIIC.
Press releases contributed to this report.