ST. PAUL – The St. Thomas women's basketball team jumped out to an early 25-8 lead after the first quarter and never looked back on its way to a 91-51 win over Carleton College on Saturday afternoon at Schoenecker Arena.
The Tommies capitalized on 21 Knight turnovers to score 26 points off those takeaways, compared to just eight points off of 12 St. Thomas turnovers for Carleton.
With the win, St. Thomas improves to 23-0 overall and 16-0 in the MIAC on a day that the Tommies honored three seniors on Senior Day. Paige Gernes, Gabby Zehrer, and Kaitlin Langer each played in their final home regular season game on Saturday afternoon.
St. Thomas scored the first 13 points of the game thanks to all three seniors. Gernes opened the game with a pair of free throws before Zehrer hit two three-pointers for six points and Langer put in a layup and three free throws for five points in the run.
From there, it was all Tommies. Although they would not score for the final 2:44 of the first quarter, the Purple took a 25-8 lead into the second quarter.
St. Thomas led by as many as 28 points (44-16) in the second frame. Langer converted one of two free throws with 4:33 remaining in the opening half to open up her team's largest lead of the half before taking a 55-28 lead to the break.
The seniors continued to produce on their day in the second half. The three combined to score the first 10 St. Thomas points after the break, as the Tommies opened up a 30-point (65-35) lead.
St. Thomas went on to outscore the Knights 24-18 in the quarter and 12-5 in the fourth on the way to the 40-point win.
UST tipped the stats scale in its favor. The Tommies shot 52.5-percent (31-59) from the field, 52.4-percent (11-21) from three, and 81.8-percent (18-22) from the charity stripe. They also outrebounded the Knights 37-24, racked up 21 assists, and outscored Carleton in points off turnovers (26-8), second chance points (15-7), and bench points (36-19).
Eleven Tommies scored on the afternoon, led by five players in double figures. Langer led the way with 21 points and went 11-for-13 from the free throw line. Zehrer followed with 14 points and hit 4-of-7 three-point attempts. Sophomores Lucia Renikoff and Hannah Spaulding each added 13 points off the bench on a combined 11-of-14 shooting from the field. Lauren Fischer was the final Tommie in double digits with 10 points.
Sarah Waldfogel was the only Knight to finish in double-figure scoring with 10 points. Anne Hamilton and Katherine Miles each followed with nine points, while Hamilton pulled down a game-high seven rebounds.
The Tommies will be back in action next Wednesday when they travel to Winona, Minn., to take on Saint Mary's for a 7:00 pm tip off.