Second half defense shuts down Carleton in WBB win

Second half defense shuts down Carleton in WBB win

NORTHFIELD, Minn. - The St. Thomas women's basketball team outscored Carleton College 39-11 in the second half on the way to capturing an 82-43 win on Saturday afternoon at West Gym. 

Four Tommies scored in double figures, led by senior Gabby Zehrer and junior Lauren Fischer with 16 points each.  With the win, St. Thomas improves to 12-0 overall and 6-0 in the MIAC, while Carleton drops to 1-11 overall and 0-6 in league play.

The two teams went back-and-forth through the opening four minutes, trading baskets up to the 5:53 mark when a Cece Leone jumper gave the Knights a 10-9 lead.  But the Tommies answered by rattling off eight straight points to take a 17-10 lead. 

Sophomore Hannah Spaulding converted eight straight points for the Purple to push the lead to 19-12 with 2:41 to go in the opening quarter.  The seven point lead dropped to six heading to the first quarter break, with St. Thomas in front 21-15.

The Knights came roaring out of the gate in the second quarter, scoring the first five points of the frame to cut the lead to just one (21-20).  The run was followed by the two teams trading baskets until the Tommies sprinted out to an eight-point lead, scoring seven consecutive points. 

Another 6-1 quick run later in the quarter brought the lead to 40-29 with 1:34 remaining in the half.  The Tommies held on to the 11-point lead heading into the half with a score of 43-32. 

After Anne Hamilton scored the first basket of the second half to shrink the lead to nine points, the Tommies ran off on a 19-3 run to finish the quarter and take a 62-37 to the fourth. 

St. Thomas outscored the Knights 20-6 in the final frame to walk away with the 82-43 win. 

On the afternoon, the Tommies shot 48.4-percent (30-62) from the field and made nine three-pointers.  They also held Carleton to 31.9-percent (15-47) shooting and forced 19 Knight turnovers, while coughing it up just seven times.  That advantage led to a 22-7 edge in points off turnovers.

Carleton finished with the rebound advantage (34-31), but the Tommies dominated points in the paint (40-16) and bench scoring (32-7).

A big part of the bench scoring came from Hannah Spaulding, who scored 13 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting to go along with a team-high six boards.  Zehrer and Fischer led the team in scoring with 16 each with four and three treys, respectively.  Senior Kaitlin Langer finished as the final Tommie in double figure scoring with 13 points, converting 7-of-10 free throws.

Cece Leone led the way for the Knights, scoring 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting.  Samantha Cooke followed with 14 points and added a game-high eight rebounds.

The Tommies will be back in action on Wednesday night, when they head back down to Northfield to take on St. Olaf at 7:00 pm.