St. Olaf 71, Luther 60 (Box)

Women's basketball tops Luther behind first half run

Michael Abdella
November 26, 2011

NORTHFIELD, Minn.- After a close first six minutes of action, the St. Olaf women's basketball team used a 22-4 run to take command of the game and never relinquished the lead as they topped Luther 71-60 on Saturday afternoon at the Skoglund Center.

Six minutes into the game, Mackenzie Pierson's three-pointer gave Luther a 14-12 lead but St. Olaf responded with a the rally over the next seven minutes to take command of the game. The early two-point advantage was the only lead of the game for the Norse.

The Oles' run was keyed by two threes apiece from Kirstee Rotty and Mackenzie Wolter. Luther committed seven turnovers during St. Olaf's run, as the Oles took a 40-29 lead into the halftime break.

The Norse trimmed the deficit to 46-43 with 14:51 to play following a Rachel Stenhaug three but were never able to get any closer. With 3:24 to play, Luther was within four but St. Olaf scored nine of the final 11 points and ran down the clock to seal the win.

St. Olaf was led by Wolter's 17 points, while Rotty contributed 15. Each of the backcourt duo made three from behind the arc. The Oles shot 36.9 percent for the game and made nine three-pointers in 27 attempts. The Ole bench outscored Luther's 24-7. Addy Bates came off the bench to score eight points.

Taylor Johnson led Luther with 22 points and seven rebounds and made all 10 of her free-throws. Stenhaug was the only other Norse player in double-figures, scoring 14 points on 4-5 from behind the arc. Luther committed 25 turnovers, which led to 37 St. Olaf points. The Norse shot 36.0 percent for the contest and hung around thanks to making 18 of 20 (90 percent) of their free throws.

The win extends the Oles perfect start to the season. St. Olaf is now 3-0, following two wins on their trip to California. Luther falls to 1-3 with the loss. St. Olaf opens its MIAC schedule with a game at Saint Mary's University on Saturday in Winona.

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