Second half fightback not enough for Ole women at St. Thomas
December 11, 2012
ST. PAUL, Minn.- After trailing by 16 at halftime, the St. Olaf women's basketball team staged a second half fightback but ultimately came up short in a 59-48 loss to No. 4 St. Thomas on Tuesday night at Schoenecker Arena.
The Tommies (7-1, 5-0 MIAC) used their full court pressure to limit the Oles (3-5, 1-4 MIAC) offensively in the first half, as they built up a 36-20 lead at the break. However, St. Olaf regrouped and got back into the game. The Oles reduced the lead to as little as five in the closing minutes but could not get any closer that that.
St. Olaf signaled their intent early in the second half by cutting the lead to six five minutes in. The Oles went on a 13-3 run to cut the lead from 16 to six at the 14:42 mark. Mackenzie Wolter had five points during the spurt, including a three-point play to get the visitors within six.
St. Thomas responded with a 8-2 run of their own to up the lead to 12 with 11:15 remaining. Back-to-back threes from Kellie Ring and Elaine Warner keyed the Tommie run. St. Thomas outshot St. Olaf from behind the arc going 8-23 (34.8%) for the game. The Oles were just 3-12 (25.0%).
In a second half full of mini runs, St. Olaf then trimmed the lead to five with 4:24 left. The 11-4 run was helped by free throw shooting, as the Oles took advantage of the aggressiveness of the St. Thomas defense. The final five Ole points came at the free throw line.
St. Olaf was unable to get any closer than five in the final four minutes and St. Thomas made six of eight free throws in the final couple minutes to seal their seventh straight win and their 28th straight MIAC win.
Kim Cerjan led the Oles with 12 points in the game. The first-year made three threes and three free throws for her dozen points. Nikki Frogner had eight points and did most of her damage from the charity stripe where she was 6-11. Erin Haglund added seven points and seven rebounds for St. Olaf.
Ring led the Tommies with 18 points and Anna Amith was the other St. Thomas player in double figures with 16. Ring was 3-6 from behind the arc and made five of six free throws. Smith made three threes of her own and went 7-10 from the line. Smith also collected eight boards.
St. Olaf struggled shooting the ball against the St. Thomas defense. The Oles were 14-54 (25.9%) for the game, including 6-26 (23.1%) in the opening half. St. Thomas shot 10-24 (41.7%) before the break and cooled off after to shoot 16-45 (35.6%) for the game. Free throw shooting, rebounds, turnovers, and assists were all virtually even as three point shooting proved the difference.
The Oles are off until the new year. St. Olaf faces Concordia-Moorhead at home on January 2 at 7:30 pm as they look to collect their second MIAC win.