Cougars Ride Late Run To Emotional Win Over Dominican

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January 10, 2017- The Division Street rivalry was renewed tonight with a thrilling contest. If act two is anything as exciting as tonight, fans from both schools are in for an exciting contest on February 14th. The Concordia University Chicago Cougar and Dominican University Stars squared off tonight inside Geiseman Gymnasium in an intense high paced contest. The Cougars jumped out early but trailed at the half. CUC then made a fantastic run midway through the second half to take round one 87-72 over the Stars.
The Cougars jumped out quickly before all of the fans could even take their seats. CUC was fueled by a three by Sheldon Moore, layups by Israel Dosie and a final layup by Moore that brought the Cougars faithful to full throat forcing a Dominican timeout with CUC out to a 15-4 advantage under five minutes in.
Dominican answered out of the timeout though with an equally impressive run of their own. The Stars got after it on the defensive end and erased the 11 point CUC advantage by the 11:24 mark with a three by Isaac Moore. Dominican continued to build momentum of their own over the next six minutes.  Their 14-4 run built a 31-21 lead over CUC and forced Head Coach Randy Rogers to take a timeout with 6:11 remaining in the half.
The Cougars picked up the intensity out of the timeout to match the Stars. A layup by Mike Walmer started the fight back. Mitch Pelissier finished off a pair of free-throws and a layup during the CUC run to cut the Stars' advantage to just two with 4:!7 remaining in the half. CUC would take a lead late in the half, but a jumper by Tim Robertson closed out the half with a jumper to give Dominican a 39-38 advantage at the break.
Three Cougars finished with eight points at the break. CUC and Dominican both shot 40 percent from the floor for the half. Dominican was led by Tim Robertson with nine.
The second half began with a torrid pace and an equally matched intensity. The two teams went back and forth in a fight to gain the momentum with no real interruption of plays with whistles. The Cougars made their run with just over 14 minutes remaining in the half. A jumper by Walmer started the run. Layups by Dosie and Kris Claybon continued to extend the Cougar advantage. A circus layup by Pelissier extended the lead to 10 with 11 minutes remaining forcing a Dominican timeout with CUC on a 10-0 run. The Cougars run continued with a layup by Walmer following the timeout.
Dominican made one final push, cutting the lead to just five with 6:57 remaining, but a huge deep three by Pelissier brought the Cougar fans to their feet and began a 9-0 run. Jarek Hotwagner fueled the run with strong play in the post. CUC was able to continue to cruise from there. Layups by Pelissier, Dosie, and Louis Fernando continued to keep the Stars chasing. Threes by Josh Mayberry kept Dominican alive, but clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch sealed the round one 87-72 win over Dominican.
Pelissier finished the day with 25 points on 10-18 shooting, one of his best games of the season. Hotwagner recorded his fourth double-double of the season, and his second in a row with 15 points and 10 boards. Dosie and Walmer had fine games as well finishing with 10 and 15 points respectively. CUC shot a red hot 49 percent from the floor including 13-15 from the charity stripe, while holing Dominican to 38 percent shooting.
With the win Concordia grabs a 40-30 lead over Dominican in the River Forest Rivalry Cup sponsored by Northwestern Mutual. The cup is a culmination of all the athletic contests between the two rival schools.
The Cougars (3-9, 2-7 NACC) will look to build on the momentum when they take on nationally ranked Benedictine University from the Rice Center on Thursday night. Opening tip is scheduled for 7:00pm.