NORTHFIELD, Minn. — The Carleton College women’s basketball team match the school record with 13 three pointers and used long-range shooting to defeat a taller Coe College squad, 82-72, in a non-conference matchup.
Carleton (4-3 overall) had five players in double figures, including a team-high 19 points from Michele Arima (Valencia, Calif./West Ranch). The sophomore guard came off the bench and went 8-of-9 from the field to tie for the second-best individual shooting effort in program history.
“Tonight was a great team effort from start to finish,” said Carleton head coach Cassie Kosiba. “Coe made a few runs in both the first and second half but this group refused to let that slow us down. While their post game gave us some trouble, I thought we managed their strong perimeter play well.”
Coe’s (2-5 overall) distinct height advantage was evident from the get go. Mary Halvorson tallied a career-high 28 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the year. Fellow forward Mackenzie Reed, added 19 points. The Kohawks finished plus-14 in rebounding, thanks largely to 18 offensive rebounds.
The Knights overcame the vertical challenge by winning the turnover battle, getting to the free-throw line, and the big scoring differential from beyond the arc. Carleton tallied 21 points off 18 Kohawk turnovers, while the Knights made 11 shots from the charity stripe compared to only four total attempts for Coe. The Knights finished 13-of-32 from long range, while the visitors went just 4-of-20, including a meager 1-of-12 in the second half.
Carleton surpassed 80 points for the fifth time this season, but got off to a very slow start making just three of its first 11 shots. The Knights trailed 14-6 with 11:54 left in the first half, but the game of runs began when Carleton responded with a 13-4 spurt capped by three pointers from Claire Thallon (Fy./Eugene, Ore./South Eugene) and Skylar Tsutsui (Jr./Northridge, Calif./Harvard-Westlake).
The momentum shifted back-and-forth with Coe going on a 10-3 run, only to have the Knights answer with a 10-2 spurt and eventually carry a 40-29 lead into halftime.
Carleton scored eight straight points early in the second period but watched Reed and Halvorson combine for a 12-0 run over the next five minutes. The Knights immediately responded with a 9-0 burst thanks to a pair of Tsutsui triples and a three pointer from Gabbi Stienstra, giving the home team a 57-53 lead with 9:10 remaining.
Coe battled back to knot the score at 64-64 with under five minutes still to play, but the Knights got points from five different players as they put together a 14-4 game-clinching run over the next three minutes, sealing the team’s third win over the last four games.
Stienstra matched her season high with 16 points, while Tsutsui and Jenny Ramey (Sr./Cottage Grove, Minn./New Life Academy) tallied 15 points each. Thallon chipped in 10 points.
This was the third time this season—also Nov. 29 at Colorado College and Dec. 9 at St. Catherine—and fourth in program annals that the Knights connected on 13 shots from beyond the arc. Stienstra and Tsutsui both drained four triples, while Arima was 3-of-4 from long range. Ramey and Thallon had the others.
“I am very pleased with the progress I've seen from this group during the first part of the season and am looking forward to working with them again after break,” Kosiba said.
After taking some time off for the holidays, Carleton resumes play on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 at University of St. Thomas. The women’s-men’s doubleheader that day begins at 1 p.m. with both games available on KDHL 920 AM and Knights Online.