Gabbi Stienstra (Jr./St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) was 5-of-6 from behind the arc en route and tallied a game-high 15 points in leading the Carleton College women’s basketball team to a 51-42 victory over crosstown rival St. Olaf College.
“I am so proud of our effort today,” said Carleton head coach Cassie Kosbia. “We have the pieces to compete on a nightly basis but need to pair that with effort and intensity. We did that today, and it showed on the court in the way we got after rebounds and shared the ball.”
The Knights (7-12, 5-7 MIAC) played their stingiest defense of the season, yielding a season-low 42 points by holding the Oles (8-11, 5-7 MIAC) to just 30 percent shooting overall and 24 percent in the second half.
Carleton opened up a 15-7 lead with 10:29 remaining the first half, only to watch the visitors counter with a 14-2 spurt that eventually led to the Oles possessing a narrow 26-25 advantage at intermission.
The Knights struggled to score early the second half, but they kept St. Olaf from pulling away and trailed only 35-31 with 12:10 remaining in the contest. At this point, the Carleton defense took over and yielded only one basket over the next 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the Knights’ offense finally started clicking and put together a 16-2 run over that same stretch, a spurt punctuated by Stienstra’s fifth three-pointer of the game.
Now with a double-digit lead and time winding down, the Knights finished off their first season sweep of St. Olaf since the 2006-07 campaign.
Participating in her final rivalry game, Carleton senior Skylar Tsutsui (Northridge, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) contributed 13 points and seven assists. A pair of rookie post players had big impacts on the game for the Knights, as Katherine Miles (Fy./ Park Ridge, Ill./Maine So.) added eight points and five rebounds off the bench and Nnenna Ezem (Fy./Berkeley, Ill./Proviso West Academy) recorded eight rebounds, six points, and three blocks.
The Knights now turn their attention to Saturday’s game against unbeaten St. Thomas.