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Tribune photo by Tom Larson Ridgewater College guard Tyler Pendleton (22) brings down a rebound and shields the ball from the Concordia College junior varsity's Aaron Zimmer (42) in the Warriors' 75-72 win over the Concordia College junior varsity Monday night in Willmar. Pendleton's teammates Jordan Schwarz (21) and Cody Warner, right, head up court.

Warriors edge Cobbers

sports Willmar,Minnesota 56201
West Central Tribune
Warriors edge Cobbers
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- It was a game Ridgewater men's basketball coach Bob Knutson could only describe as ugly. But an ugly win is still a win.

The Warriors held off a late rally by the Concordia College junior varsity and won their third game of the year, 75-72, on Monday night.

"We played flat but we survived," Knutson said after his team almost blew a 14-point lead in the second half. "We're still young and we're still learning."

Ridgewater has won three straight after dropping its season-opener, and the NJCAA Division III team plays Division I North Dakota State College of Science on Nov. 30 in Wahpeton, N.D.

Hot 3-point shooting to open the second half helped the Warriors expand on a five-point halftime lead. But they often slid into stretches of not-so-hot play, on both the offensive and defensive ends and on the boards, said sophomore guard Eli Swen.

"We struggled a bit and that shouldn't happen," Swen said. "We're a team that can spark it up, but sometimes we get a little bit lazy and we let the other team get back in it. We have to clear that up."

Cody Warner led the Warriors with 14 points and 9 rebounds, and Swen added 13 points and 6 boards. D.J. Schrupp ended with 9 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

But the Warriors were outrebounded by one, 54-53, and the margin was more pronounced on the offensive glass, where the Cobbers held a 28-19 edge.

Ridgewater can be thankful that as poorly as it shot overall (38.5 percent), the Cobbers were an even more dismal 32.5 percent from the field, including a very cool 8-for-27 from 3-point range.

Levi Abercrombie led the Cobbers with 26 points but needed 27 shots to get them. He also had 6 assists. Cobber Aaron Zimmer had 14 points but was 5-of-24 from the field.

"They out-hustled us in the second half," Knutson said of the Cobbers. "Luckily, we made some shots when we had to. We played well in stretches as a team, and we played well in stretches as individuals. That's what kept us in it."