Box Score

On cold shooting night, Oles ride defense to win over St. Catherine

Michael Abdella
February 15, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Despite shooting just under 30% for the game, the St. Olaf women's basketball team used a strong defensive effort and ran away from St. Catherine University in the second half of a 65-35 MIAC win on Wednesday night at the Butler Center.

Both teams struggled shooting the ball from the field throughout the game. St. Olaf shot 19-64 (29.7%) for the game, while St. Kate's made just eight of 51 shots (15.7%). The Wildcats made shot 1-15 from behind the arc and got most of their limited offense from the free throw line, making 18 of 20 from the charity stripe.

St. Olaf and St. Catherine struggled from the opening tip offensively. Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard for the first four plus minutes of the game, as both teams missed their first five shots from the floor.

Looking for their first MIAC win of the year, the Wildcats got off to a 7-2 lead at the 14:24 mark following a three from Kristina Cole. The Oles finally got their offense going, responding with a 18-2 run to take a 20-9 lead with 7:20 before halftime. St. Olaf led by as many as 13 in the first half and took a 27-17 lead into the locker room.

It was not until the second half when the Oles pulled away from the Wildcats for good. St. Olaf scored 10 of the first 11 points of the second half to lead by 19 with 16:28 remaining. With a comfortable lead, the Oles stepped on the gas and led by as many as 32 late in the game.

Guards Kirstee Rotty and Mackenzie Wolter each scored 14 points to lead the Oles. Rotty made eight of ten free throws and added eight rebounds and four assists. Wolter made only three of 16 shots, but made all six of her free throws and dished out five assists. Addy Bates came off the bench to be the third Ole in double figures with 11 points, shooting 3-8 from behind the arc.

Adele Simerson-Wallfred led St. Catherine with 12 points on 4-14 shooting. Sarina Baker shot 1-11 from the field but made all eight of her free throws on her way to scoring 10 points. Baker also grabbed nine rebounds but also committed eight turnovers.

Due to the tough shooting night for the Wildcats, St. Olaf posted a 59-34 rebounding advantage. The Oles also crashed the offensive boards, collecting 28 offensive rebounds as a team. Eileen O'Donoghue led the team with 10 boards, while Rotty and Elise Raney had eight each. Both teams struggled with turnovers, combining for 42 over the course of the game. St. Olaf did a better job distributing the ball, holding a 15-5 edge in assists.

The win improves the Oles to 16-8, 13-8 in the MIAC and helps their playoff positioning. St. Olaf has clinched a spot in the six-team playoffs and is currently tied for fourth with Saint Mary's. Concordia is one game ahead of both teams, while sixth-place Bethel is just a game behind St. Olaf and Saint Mary's. Saint Mary's topped Hamline on Wednesday night, while St. Thomas stayed undefeated by beating Bethel. St. Catherine falls to 1-23, 0-21 in the conference.

St. Olaf wraps up it's regular season schedule on Saturday when cross-town rival Carleton visits the Skoglund Center for a 1 pm tip-off. St. Olaf defeated the Knights 65-60 at West Gymnasium on January 21.

Contact media relations specialist Mike Ludwig at (507) 786-3834 or ludwigm@stolaf.edu.