COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Carleton College women’s basketball team opened the 2013-14 campaign with a convincing 85-62 victory at Colorado College. The Knights had five players in double figures, including a career-best 21 point-effort off the bench by Michele Arima (So./Valencia, Calif./West Ranch).
“We’re excited to get our season started with a victory,” said Carleton head coach Cassie Kosiba. “I’m very proud of the girls. They played hard from the opening tap, and 18 assists show that they are playing together as one unit. Despite the size advantage that CC had, we were able to out rebound them.”
Carleton (1-0) was the last NCAA Division III squad—of either gender—to play its first game of the season, while the host Tigers (0-6) are now a half-dozen games into their schedule. The Knights quickly made up for lost time by grabbing the early lead and pulling away from their hosts.
Colorado College led 4-3 only two minutes into the game, but a layup by Emma Purfeerst (Sr./River Falls, Wis./River Falls) sparked an 11-0 run that put the Knights in front to stay.
Carleton led 48-36 at the break and maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the second half. By comparison, the Knights four games last year in which they did not score 48 total points in a game.
After shooting 54 percent in the first half, Carleton cooled down and made 36 percent of its attempts after intermission. The Knights limited Colorado College to 26 percent shooting during the second half, including 0-for-9 from beyond the arc.
The 85-point outburst was Carleton’s highest since tallying 86 points in a victory over Buena Vista University (Iowa) on Nov. 26, 2011.
Arima reached double figures only twice during her rookie season with the Knights but totaled 15 of her 21 points before halftime. Joining her in double figures for the game were Gabbi Stienstra (So./St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha), Purfeerst, Jenny Ramey (Sr./Cottage Grove, Minn./New Life Academy), and Claire Thallon (Fy./Eugene, Ore./South Eugene).
Like Arima, Steinstra got off to a fast start, scoring a dozen points by intermission, and she finished with 16 points, the third-highest total of her career. Purfeerst added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Ramey and Thallon both contributed 11 points. Thallon, making her collegiate debut, narrowly missed a double-double as she totaled nine rebounds and picked up four steals.
“Five players in double figures, with Michelle Arima leading the way, was a key to our success tonight,” Kosiba said. “We were also able to get some good minutes out of our three first-years, especially Claire Thallon.
“We are looking forward to coming out tomorrow with another good effort against a really good Catholic University team.”
The Knights will conclude play at the Colorado College Thanksgiving Classic when they tipoff against Catholic at 1 p.m. local time on Saturday, Nov. 30.