NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Emma Purfeerst (Sr./River Falls, Wis./River Falls) recorded her second double-double over the last week and Skylar Tsutsui (Jr./Northridge, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) tallied a game-high 17 points but it was not enough as the Carleton College women’s basketball team fell, 63-57, to first-place Bethel University.
“We knew tonight was going to be a battle against a good Bethel team,” said Carleton head coach Cassie Kosiba. “I thought we started and finished the game well on both sides of the ball, but unfortunately had a dry spell going into and coming out of halftime. I was very proud of the team's ability to make the necessary adjustments in the second half, putting us in a position to win the game.”
Tonight’s matchup featured the top two scoring teams in the MIAC, as both squads entered the contest averaging better than 79 points. For a while, however, it appeared that they might not even combine for that many points tonight as neither side could get into much of an offensive rhythm. The squads shot a combined 35 percent from the field and only 60 percent at the free-throw line.
Carleton (3-3, 2-2 MIAC) led 19-17 with under six minutes remaining in the first half, but Bethel (6-0, 4-0 MIAC) closed the period on a 12-3 run and carried a seven-point lead into the break.
The margin grew as large as 16 points early in the second half, and the Knights still trailed 48-35 with 10:30 remaining. Carleton responded with 15-2 run, keyed by a pair of Jessica Huang (Sr./Millbrae, Calif./Taipei American School) three pointers to knot the score at 50-50 with 5:16 still to play.
The Knights closed to within 59-57 and had the ball with under a minute left, but a pair of turnovers proved fatal to Carleton’s attempt to topple the conference co-leaders. The hosts ultimately lost, 63-57, in the lowest-scoring game this season for either team.
Kalli Zimmerman had 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead Bethel.
Purfeerst finished with 10 points and 11 boards. Jenny Ramey (Sr./Cottage Grove, Minn./New Life Academy) and Gabbi Stienstra (So./St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha) added eight points and five rebounds apiece for Carleton, which saw Molly Ross (Fy./ Pacific Palisades, Calif./Palisades Charter School) add four points off the bench.
The Knights play once more before taking a break for the holidays. Carleton hosts Coe College (Iowa) in a non-conference affair on Saturday, Dec. 14. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. with live video available via Knights Online.