Ole women top Bethel as Bates hits clutch three in final minute
February 4, 2012
NORTHFIELD, Minn.- Addy Bates hit a big three pointer in the final minute and the St. Olaf women's basketball team held on for a 59-55 MIAC win over Bethel on Saturday at Bob Gelle Court.
The Oles led 53-52 before Bates hit a three from the left wing with 57 seconds remaining to bring the lead to four. St. Olaf made three of four free throws the rest of the way to seal the win.
The first half was a low scoring affair, as St. Olaf took a 21-18 lead into the break. The hosts led for most of the first half but never by more than five. The Oles shot 34.6% from the field in the opening half, while holding the Royals to 6-23 (26.1%) shooting.
Both teams played better offensively in the second half. Bethel came out of the break strong, scoring seven of the first nine points of the half to take a 27-23. After being held quiet by Brittany Webber and the Oles in the first half, MIAC leading scorer Taylor Sheley made two layups in the opening minutes of the second half.
Bethel held their biggest lead of the afternoon at 34-28 with 13:21 to play after a layup by Nicole Berscheid. Over the next ten minutes, the Oles controlled the game thanks to the post play of Erin Haglund, Elise Raney, and Nikki Frogner. The three keyed a 25-13 run that turned the six point deficit into a six point lead and the hosts held on to clinch a big conference win.
St. Olaf was led by Raney's 15 points, while Haglund and Mackenzie Wolter added 13 and 12, respectively. Raney shot just 6-17 from the field, while Haglund was five for eight. Sheley led the Royals with 21 points and eight rebounds. She did most of her damage at the free throw line, making 11 of 14 attempts. Kristi Nye was the only other Bethel player in double figures, scoring 12 points.
Bethel, the best three point shooting team in the MIAC coming in at 34.8%, made just two of 18 tries from behind the arc. The Royals shot 19-50 (38%) for the game, while St. Olaf shot 21-50 (42.0%). The Oles height advantage led to a 35-27 rebound edge. St. Olaf also capitalized on their trips to the free throw line, shooting 15-19 from the stripe.
The win helps the Oles hang on to the third spot in the MIAC playoff race. St. Olaf is 15-6, 12-6 in the conference and is now two games ahead of the 12-9, 10-8 Royals. The Oles next game is on Wednesday when the team travels to Moorhead to face Concordie College-Moorhead. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:45 pm.