Wolter has 25, but Oles lose second half lead and game at Saint Benedict
February 16, 2013
ST. CLOUD, Minn.- Host Saint Benedict overcame a 16-point deficit to defeat the St. Olaf women's basketball team 60-58 on Saturday afternoon at Claire Lynch Hall.
After a strong first half, Elise Raney's jumper to open the second half gave St. Olaf (12-13, 10-12 MIAC) a 36-18 lead. The Oles built up the lead thanks to Mackenzie Wolter's sharp-shooting first half. The senior guard went 6-for-7 from behind the arc to rack up 18 points at the break.
However, Saint Benedict (19-6, 17-5 MIAC) fought back and executed down the stretch to claim the victory. The Blazers shot 52.0 percent in the second half, including 6-for-11 on threes in the second half. Meanwhile, St. Olaf shot just 25.0 percent after the break.
Wolter finished with a game-high 25 points and made 7 of 10 threes. Raney was the only other Ole in double figures, as she finished with 15 points on 6-for-15 shooting.
Tish Alexander led the Blazers with 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting off the bench, including going 5-for-8 on threes. Brianna Barrett added 19 points, while making four threes and seven free throws.
St. Olaf was 8-for-12 on threes in the first half but made just two of nine after the break. Saint Benedict was just 13-for-22 at the free throw line and committed 18 turnovers but found a way to pull out the win. The Oles also pulled in 15 offensive rebounds.
The Oles got off to a 14-2 start, as they held the Blazers to just two points in the first 9:56 of play. Wolter hit two threes in the first ten minutes and Saint Benedict made only one of its first seven shots.
An Ashley Menzel three put St. Olaf up 17-4, but Saint Benedict responded with a 12-0 run to get within one. Barrett keyed the run with two threes but three Wolter threes in the final three minutes of the first half, including one with 3 seconds till half, gave St. Olaf a 34-18 halftime lead.
St. Olaf led 41-25 with 16:30 left after a three by Kim Cerjan but the Blazers whittled the lead down to seven with a 12-3 run. Barrett scored eight of the 12 Blazer points.
Back-to-back threes by Alexander gave Saint Benedict its first lead of the game at 51-50 with 4:11 remaining. Raney then scored four straight points to give the Oles a three-point lead but Alexander answered with a game-tying three with 2:35 to play.
Alexander's layup put the Blazers ahead 58-56 with 1:10 to go but Wolter then knocked down two free throws to tie the score again. With 25 seconds left, Whitney Canton hit two free throws for the Blazers and Cerjan's three was no good as the Oles took a season-ending loss.
The Blazers head to the MIAC Playoffs as the fourth seed, while St. Olaf finishes seventh in the conference. Saturday's contest marked the final game in the careers of seniors Mackenzie Wolter, Eileen O'Donoghue, Ashley Menzel, and Erin Haglund. After a 5-20 year in 2009-10, the quartet helped the Oles win at least a dozen games in their sophomore through senior seasons.