The Football team rolled again and seem like a shoe in for Frisco. But I took four bites out of yesterday's game HERE.
A fairly quiet week was nearly sandwiched by Basketball as the men rematched against Missouri State on Monday night and then notched the second to last activity of the week as they rode up to Grand Forks. The first was a loss that you can read more about HERE because Purple Bizon Sports braved the blizzard to see this squad against their best home test of the season. Following that the Bison trampled the baby birds on Saturday, lead by a strong showing from Paul Miller. Next up they've got an exhibition that counts to their record on Tuesday against Valley City as their lone action over the next week.
After and before the men came the women's basketball team. First against UT Rio Grande Valley. A long name and not short on offense UTRGV etched 82 points into the books on the way to a three point victory. It marked the third straight loss for the ladies and goes to show that a fast start can fizzle just as quickly. On Saturday that trend continued with an 11 point loss to UND. With four games remaining before conference play starts they need to get it turned around or it may be a long & disappointing season! Their next chance at a W is coming on Saturday against Cal Poly.
After a couple days off, the Ellig came alive with men's and women's track and field events. NDSU's athlete's were clearly on a different level as they totaled double digit event victories. The asterisk being the level of competition they were facing. It wasn't unlike the Basketball teams playing Concordia, a mismatch.
Lastly, the Wrestlers got to work with some off in Cedar Falls while others competed in St. Cloud. Whatever it takes to get to the same level as their fellow Big 12 residents. The week concluded against Central Michigan.
I'm foregoing any sort of Vikings specific post this week because a 10 - 3 team does not merit the sort of negativity that I would rain down on it for today's game. In reality a week from now, maybe even one day from now, I will more then likely consider it a fluke that would not be repeated.
The one question that I have now is why this team still struggles against mobile quarterbacks. Sure, most defense's do but isn't that what Anthony Barr is supposed to be on the field to handle? He did against Aaron Rodgers but Cam is a different level. So maybe there's no way to stop that guy because mobile quarterbacks are still a rarity in the NFL and when compared to Cam are non-existent. I expect more from the defense though and if AB wants to joined the list of highly paid members of the defense then he needs to be the stopper in those sorts of situations!
Team Howl may be the biggest enigma on the heartland's sports landscape which still includes a Vikings team lead by a third string quarterback, a pair of back up running backs and all those other misfits. I wonder if they're intending to be a case study in "when winning doesn't cover up all the issues." Probably not but it could argued. They beat a good team then lose to the Grizzlies. Enigma is the best word for this squad and the way they're being handled, I don't see how they'll have anything left come summer and the playoffs! But then as seems to be the trend, they could beat the Mavericks tonight and everyone will briefly decrease their outcries against the coach and his playing time distribution or against KAT and his head-scratching box scores & absent defense. I'll end this snapshot with a question: At what point can fans start to wonder if Thibs is the right coach for this bunch?
All quiet in the Dragons Den. But this is just the latest in a multi-week stretch of limited activity for the fire-breather's. When the activity commenced on Thursday, the Wrestlers ventured to the Cities to square off against Augsburg. 26 points later they boarded the bus, defeated and weren't even able to muster double digit points against Augsburg's 35.
Friday brought a flurry of activity for MSUM as Track & Field participated in the Dakota Classic. Nothing noteworthy to report on that congregation of competitors but the same cannot be said for the Basketball teams.
They took the short drive up to Crookston for an all ball double header. The lady Dragons had three players score double figures but they were paced by a mere 13 points yet came a four point play away from forcing extra time so they aren't too far away. On the hand, the men only had two players in double figures but each got into the 20's. Tanner Kretchman lead the way for the victors with 24 and he was joined by Johnny Beeninga with 21. They allowed a pair of 20+ point scorers and Crookston had a 31 point effort to it's credit. I'd hypothesize that Crookston's lack of depth, only playing seven, worked to the benefit of MSU as they came from a five point halftime deficit to win by a triple.
The roles were reversed as the squad's hosted Bemidji on Saturday. The women had another three at ten plus but the two high scorers in the game were for Moorhead State and that proved to be an important difference from Friday to Saturday. But things also went differently for the guys who this time had four double digit contributors but so did Bemidji State. That tightness extended all the way through the contest, until the Dragons found themselves one point shy of forcing overtime. So a 2-2 record over the week. Could be better but also could have been worse! They now each have a week off now before traveling to Northern State next Friday.
After the white out Monday the Cobbers didn't commence until Tuesday with the men's Basketball team going against Valley City State. Suffice it to say that they probably wouldn't have minded getting a postponement. They barely cracked the U.S. Grant line while allowing 74 points by VCSU. The lone bright spot for the corncobs was Jacob Pazdernik who shot an even 50% while scoring 20 of the 57 points. That's a nice day of offense but with so little other production it's a little bit of an empty box score.
The women's Basketball team got back to work on Wednesday St. Cate's came to town. The Cobber's offense was limited to 56 but that proved to be enough as they only allowed 49 points. Concordia was lead in scoring by a pair of 14 point performances from Kirstin Simmons & Jamie Mentzer. That duo was joined in double figures by Mira Ellefson (10) who continues to be a stabilizing force from the bench. The women then closed out the week at Augsburg on Saturday. Concordia again scored in the 50's while limiting the Auggies to 43. Mentzer hit double figures again with 14, eight in the fourth quarter and was joined on the island by Grace Wolhowe who scored 11. Their defense was on full display as they allowed six points in the fourth quarter while scoring 19 to seal the victory.
Friday featured three members of their athletic department getting under way. Wrestling took care of business against Northern State, only coming up short in two of the 10 matches.
Women's Hockey made it two for two on Friday as they defeated Finlandia 2-0. Both scores came in the second period and incorporated different sets of players. The ladies then rematched against them the next day and allowed a third period goal but not before getting two more of their own over the first two periods. Each goal was netted by a different lady and the second included the oh so special double assist...Hockey.
Men's Hockey rounded out Friday night with a five goal, three point victory over Hamline. Mario Bianchi kind of sounds like an Italian Dinner but he got a hat trick for the Cobbers. Each of the seven goals had the double assist in play so there must be something about men's Hockey that lends itself to that more often then with the women's team. If you know why that is, do tell! The men then tallied a pair of Football scores when they reconvened against the Hamsters. Hamline rolled the puck out and scored seven goals in the first two periods. After being down 7-2 many teams would have just skated out the string but not this group and not yesterday. With a few minutes remaining in the second, Mark Huneke closed it to a 7-3 deficit. The third period belonged to Moorhead with a hat trick of goals by Zach Doerring and a quartet of assists by Bianchi. That pushed it to a 7-7 deadlock. After a pair of overtimes the score was the same and that's how it concluded. If every Hockey match featured that much offense I would be way more into it and I don't think I would be alone in that.
Why am I writing about a summer minor league baseball team 10 days into December? It was just announced that they would be bringing in Chris Coste as their batting coach. When I read the news about it, I was both excited and dubious about it. The reason for the excitement should be obvious but I'll make it clear. He was a long time Baseball player who has a well of knowledge that few others would be able to claim and his long time work resulted in him getting a short stint in the Majors where he helped win the World Series with the Phillies. I'd go so far as to say that he may be a better resource for the Birds players then their new head man. So where does the concern come from? The fact that he'll be retaining his position as the skipper for Concordia. Maybe I'm overblowing the amount of work that it takes to run a division three Baseball team but I don't think so. I think the fact that he'll be going halfsies between the Redhawks and the Cobbers could be detrimental to each organization as soon as this Spring/Summer. Time will tell but that's my take.
High School Spotlight
A couple 20 point scorers, a late scoring push and the full court press add up to a good Basketball game! Fargo South @ West Fargo