Northfield, Minn. – Megan Vig (Jr./Northfield, Minn.) scored 17 points and Kristi Colbenson (Sr./Rushford, Minn./Rushford-Peterson) and Kari Christianson (Jr./Twin Valley, Minn./Norman Co. East) added 15 each as Carleton bolted to a big early lead and used a 10-0 spurt late to defeat St. Catherine, 63-44.
The victory was Carleton's eighth consecutive and 18th straight at West Gym. It marked the seventh time in eight MIAC games the Knights have held a conference foe to less than 60 points and the third time in the last four games Carleton's opponent hasn't cracked the 50-point barrier.
Carleton (8-3, 8-0 MIAC) scored 17 of the game's first 23 points and forced St. Kate's into 17 turnovers, holding a 16-3 edge in points off turnovers.
The Wildcats (4-7, 2-6 MIAC) were paced by Rebecca Theis with 11 points and five rebounds off the bench. She was the only player to score in double figures for the visitors. The turnovers and a 3-of-13 performance from the line hurt any chances the Wildcats had against the nation's 23rd-ranked team.
Carleton broke to a 13-2 lead as Christianson scored seven of her points in the first four minutes. Carleton extended the lead to as many as 15 before Rachel Bergland drilled a three-pointer at the horn to leave the Knights ahead, 34-22, at the break.
The Knights enjoyed a double-digit lead most of the second half and finally put the pesky Wildcats away with 10 unanswered points over a five-minute stretch. Christianson blocked a shot at the defensive end and scored inside to start the spurt, with a Kate Krueger (Sr./Kirkland, Wash./Seattle Prep) steal leading to a Vig fast-break lay-up to cap the run.
Neither team shot the ball well, as the Knights made 37 percent of their shots compared to 35 percent for St. Kate’s. Carleton, however, made 16-of-22 from the charity stripe and committed a season-low 10 turnovers.
Carleton returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 15, hosting rival St. Olaf College in this year’s Presidents’ Cup contest. Tip time is 1 p.m. at West Gym, with the game being carried live on KQCL 95.9 FM and via Carleton’s website.