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Knights drop season finale at St. Ben’s

February 16, 2019 at 10:38 pm
By Annika Martensson '19
Samantha Cooke
Samantha Cooke
Photo: Ruthie Yankwitt '22

ST. JOSEPH, Minn. – The Carleton College women’s basketball team led the College of Saint Benedict for the entirety of the first half but a slow third quarter doomed the Knights as they dropped the final game of the 2018-19 season, 68-52.

Despite missing their leading scorer, Cece Leone (Sr./Fairfax, Va./Bishop Ireton) due to a graduate school interview, the Knights (3-22, 0-18 MIAC) started out hot, holding the Blazers (15-10, 11-7 MIAC) scoreless for the opening 2:28 and leading 16-11 at the conclusion of the quarter.

Samantha Cooke (Jr./Chesterfield, Mo./Incarnate Word Academy) was a key factor in the early going, putting up eight of her team-best 19 points in the opening quarter of play.

The Knights built a 27-16 lead midway through the second quarter but saw the Blazers claw back to within three points by halftime.

Coming out of the intermission with their playoff seeding on the line, Saint Benedict out-scored Carleton 29-6 in the third period to pull away.

Maddie Schmitz and Sidney Schiffler led the comeback for the Bennies, scoring 10 and nine point, respectively, in the third quarter alone. Both players finished the game with 20 points in a win that gave the Blazers possession of the fourth seed and an opening-round home game in the upcoming MIAC Playoffs.

Cooke finished the game with 19 points, three rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block. Annabella Jensen (Fy./Salt Lake City, Utah/Hillcrest) was the other Carleton player to finish in double figures, as she likewise filled up the stat sheet with a 12 points, six rebounds, two steals, a block, and an assist.

Meanwhile, Jill Yanai (Fy./Glendale, Calif./Glendale) had one of the best rebounding performances of any Knight this season, recording a career-high 11 boards to go along with a dazzling six assists, two steals, and a block. Anna Hughes (So./Glenview, Ill./New Trier) finished the game with eight points, five boards, and a block.

Both teams shot over 40 percent from the field and better than 35 percent from beyond the arc. However, a poor performance from the free-throw line (37 percent) and 22 turnovers ultimately did in the Knights.

This game closed the collegiate careers for seniors Annabelle Leahy (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) and Leone. “We are forever grateful to Annabelle and Cece for their dedication to this program and leadership of this year’s team,” said Carleton head coach Cassie Kosiba. “They will always have a place on the court of West Gym.”