A Golden Opportunity: Bears to Face Gophers in Exhibition at The Barn
Concordia's Head Men's Basketball Coach Kelly Boe has announced the exhibition schedule highlighted by a Nov. 4 trip to Williams Arena in Minneapolis against the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Monday game time is to be determined by Minnesota.
It will be Concordia's first live action in the exhibition season. The team will host Saint John's at Gangelhoff Center on Nov. 7.
For the Gophers, Concordia will be their second preseason test under first year head coach Richard Pitino as they'll take on NAIA Division II champion Cardinal Stritch in exhibition play on Nov. 1 at Williams Arena.
"I'm grateful to coach Pitino for giving us the opportunity to come over and play," said Boe. "We're looking forward to the challenge of getting our team ready for the season against the best competition we could play against. It's an exciting time for Minnesota basketball and a great opportunity for our kids who've grown up watching the Gophers to play on the Williams Arena Floor."
It will be Boe's second trip to Williams Arena as a head coach. Concordia last faced the U of M on Nov. 14, 2008 in what was Minnesota's regular season opener, although it was an exhibition for Concordia's season.
The game also marks the return of Minnesota transfer Chris Halvorsen to The Barn. Halvorsen spent three seasons with the Gophers and was part of the squad's NIT Tournament runner-up finish in 2011-12 and was an Academic All-Big Ten student-athlete last year as the Gophers reached the NCAA Tournament's second round. Halvorsen transferred to Concordia for his final year of eligibility after graduating from Minnesota with a degree in biomedical engineering.
Minnesota won the previous meeting 76-51 under former head coach Tubby Smith led by Al Nolen's 17 points and six assists. Golden Bear all-time scoring leader Craig Heiman dropped in 26 points including six three-pointers to lead Concordia. The Golden Bears cut into a 52-29 second half Gopher lead, getting it to an 11-point margin (58-47) with under eight minutes to play on a Heiman three-pointer. Concordia had the ball with a chance to cut it to single digits but a turnover allowed Minnesota to stretch the lead back to 13. The Gophers closed the game on a 14-1 run in the final four minutes.