It was tight the whole way, but No. 8 Concordia stayed strong and outlasted The Master's, 68-63, on Tuesday night, January 21, inside CU Arena.
The Eagles largest lead was seven, but it was within four the majority of the contest. Josh Smith came off the bench to grab eight boards, three offensive, and score 15 points to lead the Eagles. Stephen Grosey was all over the court, snagging his second double-double of his career with 10 rebounds, 13 points, and three steals. Justin Davis provided a spark off the bench with nine points, four rebounds, and three steals. The Mustangs made their living at the foul line, making 26-of-32, but Concordia made 10 more shots to prevail over the free throw disparity. Concordia out-rebounded TMC 34-29.
Four minutes in the game was back and forth, as TMC led 8-7. DeLaun Frazier hit a three at 14:20 to put the Eagles up 10-8. Montreal Harris hit Kiefer Douse in transition for the 14-11 lead. Phifer scored one-on-one on the next possession to force a TMC timeout. On the next possession Phifer threw it behind the back to a trailing Josh Smith who finished at the rim on the breakaway. After a double technical foul, Frazier scored going one-on-one to put Concordia ahead 20-13 at 10:27. A TMC free throw cut it to 22-18 at the nine-minute mark. Justin Davis banked home a three two possessions later to put Concordia back up five. Davis stole the ball at midcourt, scooped and scored, with six minutes left to extend it to six. The Master's responded with six straight, mostly on free throws, to tie at 27 with four minutes left. Four free throws and a layup from Davis put Concordia up six, and they took a 33-29 lead into the break.
The Master's scored four straight to open the half and tie the game. Douse responded with a layup at the other end. TMC jumped ahead 37-35 and again 40-37 after a three-point play. Smith dunked it from Phifer at the other end. Phifer stole the ball on the next possession, and after an offensive board, Frazier dialed a three to retake the lead. Stephen Grosey grabbed two steals and a put back put Concordia up 50-44 with 11:32 left. After two foul shots by TMC, it was 54-52 Eagles with eight minutes left. A put back from Josh Smith put Concordia back up three. The Mustangs lived at the double bonus line late and a strong layup from Grosey with five and half left put Concordia up 58-54. Phifer hit an up-and-under drive, but TMC responded to make it 64-62 with two minutes left. Concordia missed the first half of a one-and-one, put Douse scored a layup on the next possession to make it a four-point edge. The Mustangs made one free throw, grabbed the board, but missed the three. Concordia took the 68-63 win.
The Golden State Athletic Conference and the Mid-South Conference lead all conferences with four teams apiece in the top-25 poll.