Fred Jorg hadn’t had a double-double all season.
When he finally did, it was emphatic and decisive as the 7-foot senior’s 23 points and 15 rebounds led Saint Martin’s University into the Great Northwest Athletic Conference semifinals with a 78-73 win over Concordia on Thursday night at Marcus Pavilion.
The Saints (17-12) will get precious little rest after their third consecutive victory over the Cavaliers. They’ll meet regular season champion Western Washington (23-5) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Jorg gave a hint as to what might be in store when he scored the game’s first basket on a follow and had his second shot goaltended. He ultimately made his first seven attempts, before finally missing 10 minutes into the second half.
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“Fred’s an extremely mature guy,” said Saints coach Alex Pribble of the transfer from Eastern Washington, who is also a native of Germany. “From the moment he set foot on this campus he’s helped set the tone and create our culture.”
With the Saints shooting 44 percent from beyond the three-point arc, the Cavaliers had to double-down on Jorg after the catch.
“If they play out on our shooters, it gives me a lot chances,” Jorg said. “We do a good job of staying in the game and reacting to what the opponent gives us.”
SMU’s three-point charge was led by another senior, Brandon Kenilvort, who backed Jorg up with 19 points, fueled by 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Cole Preston and Tyler Copp also reached double figures with 10 points apiece. Preston also added seven assists.
Concordia’s own senior star, Drew Martin, led the game in scoring with 32 points, shooting 10 of 18 from the field and 10 of 12 from the free throw line. Latrell Wilson added 20 and Christopher Edward 11 for the Cavaliers.
The game started with nine lead changes in the first 11 minutes but after the Saints took a 21-20 lead on Copp’s jump shot off a fast break, Saint Martin’s never trailed again. .
With five minutes to play, the Saints took their largest lead of the night, 69-58, as Kenilvort nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing.
But Concordia wasn’t about to give up.
With Martin scoring six of the points, the Cavaliers went on an 11-2 run that cut the margin to 71-69 with 2 minutes remaining. But Kenilvort’s 3-pointer from the top of the key gave the Saints a cushion.
Saint Martin’s committed a shot clock violation on its next possession, allowing Concordia to again make it a one possession game. But Copp, the Saints’ season scoring leader with 15.6 points per game, stepped up to knock down four consecutive free throws in the final 14 seconds to put the game away.
Western Washington poses a challenge for the Saints, but Saint Martin’s is prepared after facing the Vikings on the road last week in the regular season finale.
“They’re the top dogs,” said Pribble. “We just got to see them last week, though, so we’ll just stick to what we do. The crowd and the atmosphere tonight was amazing. Hopefully, they’ll be back (Friday) to give us a boost.”
GNAC basketball tournament
Thursday-Saturday at Saint Martin’s University
No. 3 Western Oregon 72, No. 6 Montana State Billings 61
No. 4 Saint Martin’s 78, No. 5 Concordia 73
No. 3 Western Oregon vs. No. 2 Alaska Anchorage, 5:15 p.m.
No. 4 Saint Martin’s vs. No. 1 Western Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.
No. 6 Central Washington 58, No. 3 Simon Fraser 57
No. 5 Seattle Pacific 71 , No. 4 Northwest Nazarene 60
No. 6 Central Washington vs. No. 2 Western Washington, noon
No. 5 Seattle Pacific vs. No. 1 Alaska Anchorage, 2:15 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 5:15 p.m.