NORTHFIELD, Minn.— Some hills are just too big to climb.
The Carleton College women’s basketball team erased a 20-point first-half deficit but was unable to hold off the College of Saint Benedict down the stretch, falling 56-48 at home. Skylar Tsutsui (Fy./Northridge, Calif./ Harvard Westlake) made 5-of-7 shots in the second half and finished with a game-high 17 points for the Knights.
It was a good news, bad news situation for the Knights (2-16, 1-14 MIAC) over the first period. On the positive side, Carleton limited the Blazers (9-9, 6-9 MIAC) to 32 percent shooting, forced eight turnovers, and tallied four blocks. On the downside, the Knights shot only 19 percent (5-of-26) in the stanza.
Saint Benedict raced to a 28-8 lead with 3:49 remaining in the first half and carried a 16-point advantage into the break.
Trailing 33-14 less than two minutes into the second half, the Knights made their move. Tsutsui drained a jumper at the 18:04 mark, igniting Carleton on a 21-2 run. Her three pointer capped the rally and tied the score at 35-35 with 10:54 on the clock.
What followed was back and forth action as the Knights attempted to keep pace with St. Benedict. After Jenny Ramey (So./Cottage Grove, Minn./New Life Academy) sank a pair of free throws with 5:20 to play, the score was deadlocked once again, this time at 44-44.
The Blazers seized the momentum in the closing minutes, closing the game on a 12-4 run. The Knights committed four turnovers over that final stretch, negating 57 percent shooting in the second half.
“Our effort over the course of the 40 minutes just wasn't enough today,” said Carleton head coach Cassie Kosiba. “We proved we could compete with the Blazers in the second half, but turnovers again kept us from finishing off the game.”
Saint Benedict was led by 11-point efforts from both Tish Alexander and Elena Koch.
Jessa Youso (Jr./Virginia, Minn./Virginia) contributed 10 points for the Knights, with Akemi Arzouman (Jr./Irvine, Calif./University) and Jenny Ramey both adding six points to Carleton’s effort.
The Knights travel to Bethel University for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff on Monday, Jan. 30. Live audio will be available on KDHL 920AM and Knights Online.