Change was in the air for the Carleton women’s basketball program heading into the 2010-11 season. With a new head coach and a young roster, the future was, in Tom Petty’s immortal words, wide open.
While that future remains bright, success has yet to reach the present for the Knights, as Carleton has struggled in conference play, losing six straight after starting the season 3-2. At 2-6 (3-8 overall), the Knights are tied for ninth in the MIAC standings.
The latest setback came on the road Wedensday, as the Knights fell to Bethel, 75-43. Akemi Arzouman ’13 and Ally Weaver ’11 each scored 10 points, but the team committed 23 turnovers and shot just 33 percent from the field.
Offensive struggles have plagued Carleton all season, as the team ranks last in the conference, averaging just 51.9 points per game. The Knights lack a dominant post scorer, but have struggled shooting the ball from outside as well, posting a conference-worst .216 three-point percentage.
Still, there have been plenty of positives for the team in the season’s early going. The Knights have been victims to a brutal schedule, with five of the last six losses coming against the top five teams in the conference standings. Before leaving for the holidays, the Knights did win their first two conference games, defeating Hamline and Augsburg by scores of 71-65 and 77-67, respectively.
Prior to starting the MIAC season, the team escaped winter’s onset with a Thanksgiving trip to Southern California where they posted an impressive 70-49 win over Pomona-Pitzer and nearly upset Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, falling 61-60 despite a career-high 25 points from Cali native Arzouman.
That performance was a sign of things to come, as the sophomore has blossomed into the Knights’ leading offensive weapon. Arzouman ranks sixth in the MIAC with an average of 14.3 points per game while also contributing 5.0 rebounds per contest.
Also impressive has Carleton’s first year class, with all five rookies seeing significant playing time. Emma Purfeerst and Jenny Ramey have been especially inspiring, as the pair has started every game for the Knights and posted some gaudy numbers.
Purfeerst paces the squad in rebounding at 7.0 boards per game and has also averaged 8.6 points. In her second collegiate game, the remarkable rookie posted 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Knights over Pomona-Pitzer.
Ramey, meanwhile, has effortlessly assumed the starting point guard spot and leads the MIAC with a 4.36 assists per game average. She also paces the Knights with 15 steals.
The schedule will finally soften for the Knights on Saturday when they head to St. Peter to take on Gustavus (5-7, 4-5 MIAC). The next home action for Carleton comes on Wednesday against Hamline, with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at West Gym.