The Concordia Eagles picked up a huge road win on Saturday night, December 8, as they defeated No. 9 Cal State San Marcos, 84-79, inside MiraCosta College in Oceanside, CA.
Peter Smith had 17 points off the bench, as he went four-of-five from the field, two-of-two from deep, and seven-of-11 from the stripe. Tim Harris was huge off the bench as well, with 19 points, going four-of-five from three. Brandon Hucks had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Dakota Downs had 14 points and seven boards. Hucks and Jyrwrell Wilson each had a three, giving the Eagles eight on the night. Concordia was outrebounded 39-30, but shot 51% from the field, compared to 47% for Cal State San Marcos. Concordia had 17 turnovers, compared to 16 for the Cougars. The difference in the game was from deep, as Cal State San Marcos only hit four threes.
"That's a season-changing game for us," Concordia head coach Ken Ammann said. "It was great for us to get a win over a top-10 team. We really learned how to compete tonight. It was a great all-around team effort. We needed to compete and focus for 40 full minutes tonight."
Concordia led 9-8 on a Harris three-pointer five minutes into the game. The Cougars responded with a three, but Smith came back with a trey of his own to give the one-point lead back to Concordia. The teams traded leads until Cal State San Marcos took a 21-17 lead at 12:46. That lead went to six at 11:01, but Concordia responded with an 11-0 run. Tim Harris hit a three and four free throws over that stretch, and Downs added two layups. The Cougars came back with six straight to take the one-point edge. A three from Smith put Concordia back ahead, and the teams traded the lead until it was knotted at 38 with three minutes left. Two freebies put San Marcos up, but Downs converted a layup and Nolan Abernathy went the length of the court off a defensive rebound for a three-point play to put Concordia up 43-40 with 42 seconds left. The Cougars nailed a last-second three to tie the game at 43 at the half.
The teams traded leads through the first five minutes of the half, until San Marcos took a four-point lead at 12:28. Concordia cut it to one on a Wilson three, but the Cougars went up six on two free throws. The lead went between six and two, until San Marcos took the seven point lead on two freebies with five minutes left. Concordia went on a 9-2 run, led by a three from Harris and jumper from Rudd, to tie the game at 77 with two minutes left. Harris hit a three at 1:10 to give Concordia the three-point edge. Cal State San Marcos pulled within one on a jumper with 50 seconds left, and Concordia turned it over, but forced a turnover back with 28 seconds left. Concordia held the Cougars scoreless to the finish and made enough foul shots to ice the game, 84-79.
Concordia won in points off turnovers, 21-16, bench points, 38-19, but was outscored in the paint, 44-34. Concordia improved to 6-3 with their biggest win of the season, as Cal State San Marcos had already beaten three top-15 opponents this year. The Cougars fell to 8-4. The Eagles travel to Scottsdale, Ariz., for the three-day Scottsdale Classic hosted by Great Falls at Scottsdale Community College on December 20.