Ole women lose lead and game at Saint Ben's, still clinch playoff spot
February 11, 2012
ST. JOSEPH, Minn.- The St. Olaf women's basketball team shot just 7-of-28 in the second half of a 54-50 loss to the College of Saint Benedict's, but still managed to clinch a berth in the MIAC playoffs on Saturday afternoon.
Coming into the game, the Oles knew a win would clinch a berth in the MIAC playoffs but it was Saint Ben's that got off to the better start. The Blazers led for almost the entire first 17 minutes of the game by as many as six points. However, St. Olaf closed the half by scoring 14 of the last 16 points to take a 29-23 lead into halftime. Eileen O'Donoghue hit a three with seven seconds remaining to bump the lead from three to six.
St. Olaf continued to control the game in the opening minutes of the second half. The visitors scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 36-23 lead, their biggest of the game, after a Mackenzie Wolter layup with 16:09 to play.
The Blazers then responded by going on a 14-0 run of their own over a four minute stretch. During the run, Brianna Barrett hit three straight three-pointers and the hosts made four of five tries overall from behind the arc. The spurt gave St. Ben's a 37-36 lead with 11:11 remaining and they held on for the win. St. Olaf got within two at 52-50 following a Sheridan Blanford layup with 2:21 to play but back-to-back turnovers and a couple missed shots meant the Oles came up short.
Wolter led St. Olaf with 13 points and made three of eight threes. Elise Raney posted a double-double with 12 points on 6-16 shooting and 12 rebounds. Blanford added nine off the bench, while Addy Bates scored eight.
Barrett was the only Blazer in double figures, scoring 16 points on 5-9 shooting. The sophomore did most of her damage from behind the arc, making four of six threes. Jamie Wollin scored nine points off the Blazer bench on 4-0 shooting. No Saint Ben's starter managed more than five points.
Despite the loss, St. Olaf clinches a spot in the six-team MIAC playoffs. The Oles are now 15-8, 12-8 in the conference and are in a three-way tie with Bethel and Saint Mary's in the battle for the fourth seed. Saint Ben's is eliminated from postseason contention with a 12-11, 9-11 mark. St. Olaf's next game is at St. Catherine on Wednesday night.