Fong scores career-high 36 as Oles top Bethel
February 4, 2012
NORTHFIELD, Minn.- After back-to-back eight point games, Bobby Fong scored a career-high 36 points to lead the St. Olaf men's basketball team to a 74-57 victory over Bethel on Saturday at Bob Gelle Court.
Fong shot 15-for-23 from the field and made five of eight three pointers en route to the top scoring day of his Ole career. The senior scored 13 on 5-for-8 shooting in the opening half but exploded for 23 after the break, as he keyed the game-changing run in the second half.
St. Olaf took a 35-32 lead into the locker room at halftime and led by just two at 42-40 with 16:11 remaining. Fong then took matters into his own hand, scoring 17 points during a 23-8 run that pushed the Oles lead to 65-48 with 7:11 to play. Fong scored just two points after the run, as St. Olaf worked the clock. The 36 points tops a 34-point outing against Gustavus last February.
Bethel hung with the Oles during the first half and during the opening minutes of the second half. St. Olaf held the lead for most of the first half but never led by more than five. The Royals shot 13-27 (48.1%) in the first half and Taylor Hall scored 12 points in the opening half.
With Fong's big day, only one other Ole scored in double figures. Stu Neville posted his fifth double-double in eight games, scoring 13 points on 5-9 shooting and adding 10 rebounds. Nathan Kuck almost notched a double-double of his own with nine points and nine boards. Point guard Alfred Jaryan had a solid game as well with seven points and seven assists.
Hall led the Royals with 20 points and 11 rebounds. The junior shot 7-14 from the field and made all six of his free throws. Kyle Zimmerman was the only other Bethel player in double figures, scoring 10 points on 4-6 shooting.
After shooting at a 48.1% clip in the opening half, Bethel cooled off to 30% in the second half and finished at 38.6% (22-57) for the game. St. Olaf finished 30-73 (41.1%) from the field. The Oles held a big advantage in three point shooting. The hosts made 10 of 25 attempts (40.0%), while the Royals made just three of 22 attempts (13.6%). St. Olaf committed just six turnovers over the course of the game and recorded 14 assists.
The win improves the Oles to 12-9, 11-5 in MIAC play, which is good for third place in the conference. Bethel falls to 11-9, 7-8 in the MIAC and sits seventh. St. Olaf is a single game behind St. Thomas, which defeated Augsburg on Saturday, and is one game ahead of Augsburg. The Oles next game is on Wednesday when the team travels to Concordia College-Moorhead for a 7:45 p.m. tip-off following the women's game.