St. Olaf 68, Univ. of Chapman 64 (Box)

Oles dominate boards, make it two straight in California

Michael Abdella
November 19, 2011

REDLANDS, Calif. - Behind a double-double from first year Nikki Frogner, the St. Olaf women's basketball team topped Chapman University 68-64 on Saturday night at Currier Gymnasium to complete their California trip with a 2-0 record.

The Oles never trailed in the second half, mostly thanks to their dominance on the boards. St. Olaf hauled in 21 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Panthers 48-26, as Chapman had a hard time against the height of the Oles frontcourt of Froggner, Erin Haglund, Rachel Rongstad, and Eileen O'Donoghue.

Froggner led the way for the Oles with 18 points on 7-11 shooting and also collected 11 rebounds off the bench. Kirstee Rotty added 14 points and Mackenzie Wolter scored 10, despite shooting just 3-14. The ball-handling of Rotty and Wolter was key to the Oles success as Chapman pressed St. Olaf's backcourt almost every time up the court. The Panthers forced 23 turnovers but St. Olaf also got several easy baskets when they were able to break the pressure.

In the first six minutes of the game, the Oles raced out to a 13-3 lead. Froggner got off to a hot start, scoring seven of the first 13 points for St. Olaf. Chapman trimmed the deficit to 37-32 at halftime, mostly due to Kimi Takaoka's 19 first half points. Takaoka shot 5-10 in the first half and made all seven of her free throws.

The Panthers scored the first four points of the second half to get within a single point but were never able to take the lead after the break. Back-to-back jumpers from Wolter and Rotty put the Oles up 65-55 with 2:38 to play but Chapman scored seven straight points to narrow the gap to three with 1:04 remaining. However, for the second night in a row, the Oles made just enough free throws down the stretch to hang on for the win.

Takaoka led the Panthers with 24 points in the game but the Oles clamped down on the sophomore guard holding her to 1-7 shooting in the second half. Liz Hartnett scored nine points for the Panthers, while Brandi Hood added eight points and seven boards. Hood, who had 19 points and 18 rebounds in the opener for Chapman was saddled with four fouls for the bulk of the second half.

For the game, St. Olaf shot 40.7% (22-52) and made 20 of 28 free throws. Chapman shot 36.7% (18-49) but missed 13 of their 38 free throws. Both teams had three players with at least four fouls, as 47 fouls were called in the game. St. Olaf's bench outscored Chapman's reserves 31-6, mostly thanks to Froggner. Addy Bates also pitched in with six points off the bench.

With the win, St. Olaf completes the Redlands Tip-Off Classic with a 2-0 record. Chapman, which went 22-6 last year and made a trip to the NCAA Division III tournament, sits at 1-1. Next up for the Oles is a home game against Luther on Saturday, November 26th.

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