The Carleton women’s basketball team kicked off its 2019-20 season with a 69-46 victory over visiting Martin Luther College in the season-opener for both squads. Sophomore Jill Yanai led the way, scoring a career-best 19 points to go along with seven rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Carleton (1-0) collected 22 steals in the contest, the third-highest total in program history and the most by the Knights since 1994. The home team turned Martin Luther (0-1) over 31 times overall and converted those extra possessions into 28 points.
Tammy Metcalf-Filzen, the winningest coach in program history, made her return to Carleton after initially retiring following the 2009-10 season.
“A really good team win to get us started,” Metcalf-Filzen said. “We just need to keep improving and building on this and seeing what we can do.”
Martin Luther (0-1) scored the first five points of the game, but Carleton closed the opening quarter with a 20-2 run and led the rest of the way. The visitors used a 17-4 run of their own to pull within 35-30 at the break.
Carleton extended the margin to an eight-point advantage entering the fourth quarter and finished the evening by out-scoring Martin Luther 21-6 in the fourth, eliminating any drama down the stretch.
After a one-year hiatus, senior Katie Chavez returned to the roster and contributed 12 points, six assists and five steals. Senior Samantha Cooke was the third Knight in double figures, finishing with 14 points, five rebounds and two blocks.
Emily Witkowski and Erika Gosch tallied 13 points apiece for Martin Luther.
Carleton goes on the road to challenge UMAC preseason favorite Bethany Lutheran College at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Ole men top UW-Stout
Senior Noah Beck recorded his first-career double-double as the St. Olaf men’s basketball team downed UW-Stout, 63-57, in the season-opener for both teams at Johnson Fieldhouse on Friday night.
Beck recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for St. Olaf (1-0), which improved to 6-1 in its last seven season openers with the win over UW-Stout (0-1). The Blue Devils led 44-41 with 13:28 remaining in the second half before the Oles went on a decisive 13-2 run to take the lead for good.
In addition to Beck’s double-double, senior Nate Albers and freshman Jake Weber both came off the bench to score in double figures, as Albers shot 8-for-9 from the free-throw line to provide 12 points and Weber added 10 points in his first collegiate contest. Junior Dominic Bledsoe chipped in with nine points, five rebounds and two steals for the Oles.
St. Olaf outscored UW-Stout by a 14-1 margin at the free-throw line, shooting 14-for-20, compared to 1-for-3 for the Blue Devils. The Oles also sank seven 3-pointers while holding the Blue Devils to four makes from behind the arc.
Back-to-back baskets by Tyreese Alexander and Kaden Koski gave UW-Stout its largest lead of the night at 44-39 with 14:06 remaining. Later in the half, back-to-back three-pointers from freshman Mac Hubbard and Beck followed by a three-point play by Bledsoe put the Oles up eight, 54-46, with 6:05 to go.
The Blue Devils scored the next five points to get back within three, 54-51, but the Oles answered with a three-point play by Albers off his own steal, as the senior scored seven straight points to push St. Olaf’s lead to 10, 61-51, inside the final minute.
In the win, St. Olaf got 28 points off its bench and shot 12-for-15 from the free-throw line in the second half to help secure the victory.
The Oles are back on the road on Wednesday for a non-conference contest at UW-Stevens Point at 7 p.m.
St. Olaf women fall to start season
Sophomore Camryn Scott had her first-career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, but the St. Olaf women’s basketball team fell to Bethany Lutheran, 76-53, in its season opener on Saturday at North Gym.
Scott shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor for St. Olaf (0-1) and had a career-high 12 rebounds, but Bethany Lutheran (1-0) got 20 points, 10 rebounds and five steals from Abby Olson and held the Oles to 32.5 percent shooting in the game.
In addition to Scott’s career night, senior Ella Skrien reached double figures with 14 points and six rebounds, while freshman Rachel Kelly, a 2019 Northfield High School graduate, added 12 points, seven rebounds and two assists in her collegiate debut.
Bethany Lutheran led by as many as seven, 18-11, in the final minute of the first quarter and took a five-point lead into the second. The Vikings stretched their lead to 10 on a three-pointer from Skylar Cotten before the Oles closed the gap to six, 29-23, with 6:25 to go on a layup by Kelly off an assist from sophomore K’Lynn Lewis.
At the 2:42 mark, freshman Sophie Olmen recorded a steal and a layup to account for the first points of her career and to bring the Oles back within six. A layup from Hanna Geistfeld and a pair of free throws from Olson in the final 2:14 of the half gave Bethany Lutheran a nine-point lead heading into halftime.
Baskets from Skrien and Scott in the first 1:45 of the third quarter cut Bethany Lutheran’s lead to five, but the Vikings answered with an 11-4 run to extend their lead to 13, 54-41, with 3:13 remaining in the quarter. Bethany Lutheran took a 16-point lead into the fourth.
St. Olaf scored the first five points of the quarter to get within 11 at 61-50 with 6:09 left in the game. Later, a 9-0 run extended the Vikings lead to 19 with 3:32 to go to put the game out of reach.
St. Olaf forced 22 turnovers in the loss but was outrebounded 36-26 in the game.