The St. Olaf College women's basketball team held Carleton College scoreless for a period of 6:29 in the fourth quarter to pick up a 53-47 victory over the Knights on Saturday afternoon at Skoglund Center.
St. Olaf (6-7, 3-5 MIAC) trailed 37-32 with 9:07 to go in the fourth quarter before holding Carleton (5-8, 2-6 MIAC) scoreless until the 2:38 mark as part of a 9-0 run that gave the Oles the lead for good. After scoring just 30 points over the first three quarters, St. Olaf put up 23 in the final 10 minutes to claim its fourth win in the last six meetings between the crosstown rivals.
First year Rachel Kelly, a 2019 Northfield High School graduate, scored a team-high 14 points to lead the way for St. Olaf to match her career high off the bench. Five other Oles scored between six and nine points, including first year Grace Hegland who added a career-high eight off the bench.
Carleton made four of its first six 3-pointers to grab an early 12-5 lead four minutes into the contest. Hegland drained her first-career 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the opening quarter, but the Knights led 15-13 after one thanks to eight early points from Jill Yanai.
St. Olaf started the second quarter on a 7-0 run to go ahead, 20-15, with senior Ella Skrien hitting a jumper and a 3-pointer in the run. The Oles led for the rest of the quarter, which saw the two teams combine for 15 points, and held a slender 22-21 edge at halftime.
In the third quarter, a 3-pointer by junior Keegan Mulvihill broke a 27-27 tie with 2:47 to go, but Carleton closed the quarter on a 7-0 run that ended with a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Yanai from beyond half court to send the game to the fourth quarter with the Knights ahead, 34-30.
Anna Hughes answered a jumper by Mulvihill with a three-pointer in the first minute of the final quarter to give Carleton a 37-32 edge. Over the next 6:29, however, the Knights missed five straight shots and committed four turnovers before Yanai made a free throw with 2:38 to go to end the drought.
Kelly and senior Britta Koenen combined to score all nine of St. Olaf's points during the 9-0 run, as Kelly connected on her second 3-pointer of the game to give the Oles the lead for good at 38-37 with 5:06 remaining.
After Yanai's free throw left the St. Olaf lead at 41-38 with 2:38 to go, Hegland drove to the hoop for a basket and Skrien sank a 3-pointer on the next possession to stretch the Oles' lead to eight, 46-38. St. Olaf made seven of its 10 free throws in the final 61 seconds to snap its three-game losing streak.
The Oles visit nationally-ranked and undefeated Bethel University on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. in Arden Hills.