Men's basketball ends four-game losing streak by beating Saint Mary's
December 3, 2011
WINONA, Minn.- Sophomore guard Josh Pratt gave the St. Olaf men's basketball team a boost, coming off the bench to score 13 points as the Oles topped Saint Mary's 67-56 Saturday afternoon at SMU Gym.
Pratt, a transfer from Hamline, knocked down three of his four attempts from behind the arc to help the Oles end a four-game losing streak by leading from wire to wire. In addition to his long-range shooting, Pratt contributed three rebounds and three assists.
St. Olaf shot the lights out in the first half en route to a 35-24 halftime lead. The Oles shot 13-21 (61.9%), including 3-4 from three-point range, while the Cardinals shot just 35.7% from the field.
In the second half, St. Olaf cooled off, making only 11 of 31 shots (35.5%) but had enough of a cushion to hold off Saint Mary's. The Cardinals trimmed the Oles lead to 58-54 following two free throws from Michael Burfeind with 6:12 remaining but were unable to get any closer.
Stu Neville led St. Olaf with 14 points and 14 rebounds, while playing 38 of the 40 minutes. Neville and Pratt were joined in double figures by Bobby Fong, who scored 12 points to move within five points of becoming the 16th Ole to score 1,000 career points.
Saint Mary's was paced offensively by Burfeind's 16 points and nine rebounds. Burfiend did half of his damage at the line, where he went 8-9. LaMonte Hall added 15 points on 6-11 shooting for the Cardinals.
St. Olaf controlled the boards over the course of the game, holding a 42-32 advantage. The Oles struggled at the charity stripe, as they made just 15 of 24 free throws (62.5%). The Cardinals achilles heel was their three-point shooting. Saint Mary's was just 3-13 from distance.
The win snaps the Oles four-game losing streak and improves the squad to 2-4, 1-1 in MIAC play. Saint Mary's falls to 0-6, 0-2. St. Olaf returns to the Skoglund Center, following five straight away games, on Monday when they host Macalester in a 7:30 tip-off following the women's game.