In just their second home game of the 2012-13 season, the No. 19 Concordia Eagles downed a talented Victoria Vikes squad out of British Columbia, Canada, 96-88, on Sunday night, December 30, inside CU Arena.
Peter Smith scored a career-high 28 points for Concordia on nine-of-13 shooting and three-of-five from deep. Dakota Downs scored 14 points, getting going late, in addition to seven rebounds to lead the team. Tim Harris and DeLaun Frazier each had 12 points, with Harris two-of-two from deep and Frazier four-of-four off the bench. Brandon Hucks and Alex Rudd had 10 points each. Lucas Simpson gave a great boost down low with seven rebounds, most of those defensive down the stretch. Concordia was 10-of-17 from deep and shot 55% from the field. Victoria shot well too, hitting at 53% and drilling six threes. Concordia forced 14 turnovers and dealt 15 assists.
Concordia used the first seven minutes to build a ten-point lead, 19-9, with two early threes from Tim Harris. Victoria scored eight straight in response to pull within two at 12:16. A three from Rudd pushed it back to five, but Victoria hit a three of their own and tied the game with a layup at 24 with 9:36 remaining. A layup and three free throws saw the Vikes pull ahead, 33-28, with 7:06 left in the half. They continued to expand their lead and led 39-31 at the 5:04 mark. Concordia found their footing and mounted a 10-0 run to go back ahead by two. Frazier and Smith both hit threes and Hucks converted a put-back layup over that stretch. Victoria outscored Concordia 9-4 over the final two minutes and took a 48-45 lead into the break.
Victoria built their lead back to seven just two minutes into the second half and held the lead until two free throws by Smith after a steal tied the game at 61 at the 15:44 mark. Concordia took control at that point and led 68-64 when Harris connected with Simpson in the paint. Victoria scored six straight in response to regain the lead. Tyler Hickert hit one-of-two free throws to give Concordia a 74-72 lead at 10:11 and after Victoria tied it at 74, Concordia built a six-point lead on two Frazier threes. Concordia held the lead between six and two points over the final eight minutes. With Concordia up three and the shot clock winding down, Smith hit a deep three at the 2:16 mark to put the Eagles up six and more-or-less seal the game. Concordia outscored the Vikes 26-16 in the paint, 11-5 off turnovers, and 20-11 off the bench.
Concordia improved to 10-3 on the year and won their fifth straight, while Victoria dropped to 9-7. The No. 19 Eagles are back in action on January 3 in Chicago, IL against perennial NAIA Tournament foe, Robert Morris.