ST. PAUL – The St. Thomas women's basketball team won its 17th straight game on Wednesday night with a 71-48 win over Macalester College at Schoenecker Arena. The Tommies held the Scots to just 34-percent (18-53) shooting from the field and dominated the points in the paint (34-14) to post the 23-point victory. With the win, St. Thomas improves to 17-0 overall and 11-0 in the MIAC, while Macalester drops to 9-9 on the year and 3-8 in league play.
After St. Thomas built a quick 11-5 lead through the first four and a half minutes of the game, the Scots came right back to score eight straight points and pull within one (14-13) on a Vivi Gregorich three-pointer with 3:50 remaining in the opening quarter. But the Tommies finished the frame on a 9-4 run to take a 23-17 advantage to the second.
Both teams were unable to score in the opening two and half minutes of the second quarter until sophomore Lucia Renikoff broke the silence with a triple at the 7:21 mark. The basket gave way to back-to-back layups from senior Kaitlin Langer on consecutive possessions and the Tommie lead was 13 (30-17).
From there, the Scots would not get closer than 10 points for the remainder of the second quarter, as the Tommies took a 38-26 lead to the break.
A 6-2 advantage in the opening minutes of the third quarter stretched the St. Thomas lead to 16 (44-28), and the Tommies did not let off the accelerator, leading by as many as 25 points (60-35) before taking a 62-40 lead to the fourth.
The Purple went on to lead by as many as 27 (71-44) with two minutes to go in the contest on its way to sealing the 23-point win.
St. Thomas shot 46.3-percent (25-54) from the field and hit seven threes on the night, while holding Macalester to 34-percent (18-53) shooting. The Tommies outrebounded the Scots 40-28 and had 12 offensive rebounds, which led to a 15-4 advantage in second chance points. They also outscored Macalester 34-14 in the painted area.
St. Thomas posted three players in double figure scoring to lead the way. All three finished with 13 points. Lauren Fischer finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, shooting 5-of-8 from the field and 3-of-5 from three. Kaitlin Langer followed with 13 points and six boards, while Lucia Renikoff tallied 13 points on 3-of-4 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 mark from three and connected on all four of her free throws. Senior Paige Gernes also finished with game-highs in rebounds (9) and assists (3).
Gregorich led the way for Macalester, scoring 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Tyana Loiselle came off the bench to add 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting, and added five rebounds.
The Tommies will be back in action again on Saturday afternoon when they travel to St. Joseph, Minn., to take on Saint Benedict for a 3:00 pm start.