Ole women edge Carleton in regular season finale
February 18, 2012
NORTHFIELD, Minn.- In their final regular season contest, the St. Olaf women's basketball team narrowly defeated Carleton 60-57 on Saturday afternoon to clinch a home playoff game.
After leading by nine points with 6:36 to play, St. Olaf withstood a late Carleton rally to hold on for the win. The Knights cut the deficit to just one point at 58-57 on a three pointer by Skylar Tsutsui with 40 seconds to play. After Mackenzie Wolter missed a three pointer, Tsutsui gathered in the rebound and tried to start a fast-break but her pass was deflected and gathered in by Wolter. Wolter was immediately fouled and knocked down both free throws. Akemi Arzouman's long three at the buzzer came up short, as the Oles held on for the win.
Despite their 2-20 MIAC record, the Knights have played in countless close games this year. Like the meeting at West Gymnasium earlier this year, the first half was a closely contested affair. St. Olaf led by as many as seven at 11-4 midway through the first half following a Kirstee Rotty jumper. However, the Knights fought back and claimed a 24-22 lead with 2:22 remaining before the break. After the tightly contested first half of play, the cross-town rivals went to the locker room deadlocked at 26-26.
Carleton's Megan Meads opened the second half with a jumper that reestablished the Knights' biggest lead of the game. However, the Oles responded with a 14-2 run to lead by ten with 15:08 to play. During the run, St. Olaf got threes from Wolter and Nikki Frogner.
After trailing by 10, Carleton scored 11 straight points to claim a 41-40 lead with 10:57 to play. The Knights made four straight shots from the field during the run, while St. Olaf missed six straight of their own. A 10-2 Ole run was capped by back-to-back threes from Wolter and Rotty put them up by nine, but the Knights came back once again only to fall short in the final minute.
Wolter led the way for the Oles, scoring a game-high 20 points on 6-11 shooting. The junior guard made four of six from behind the arc and also collected seven rebounds. Elise Raney was the only other Ole in double figures, posting 12 points on 4-8 shooting. Frogner shot 4-7 off the Ole bench on her way to nine points.
Arzouman, Tsutsui, and Ramey provided the majority of Carleton's offense. Arzouman led the Knights with 19 points, while Tsutsui added 18. Ramey pitched in with 11, as the trio combined to score 48 of the 57 Carleton points.
St. Olaf shot 21-55 (38.2%) for the game, while Carleton finished at 19-51 (37.3%). Each team made seven three-pointers. St. Olaf struggled a bit af the charity stripe, making 11 of 17 but the Knights knocked down all 12 of their free throws. Despite the Oles height advantage, Carleton held a slender 34-33 advantage in rebounding. One big edge St. Olaf held was in assists, where the hosts dished out 11 compared to just 4 for the visitors.
With the win, St. Olaf improves to 17-8, 14-8 in the MIAC, while Carleton falls to 3-22, 2-20 in the conference. With results elsewhere, the Oles claimed the number four seed for the MIAC playoffs and will host fifth-seeded Saint Mary's on Tuesday night in a first round match-up. Third-seeded Concordia will face sixth-seeded Bethel in the other first round game.