Despite a couple late scares from host Macalester College, the Carleton College women’s basketball team stayed calm and collected down the stretch, earning a 61-53 road victory. Using a balanced scoring attack, the Knights earned their first road victory since Dec. 9.
Macalester (1-20, 0-16 MIAC) scored the game’s first three points, but that would prove to be the hosts’ lone lead in the game as Carleton (8-13, 5-11 MIAC) proceeded to clamp down on defense throughout the period and ended the first quarter with a 22-9 advantage. The Knights hit as many 3-pointers in the period as the Scots did field goals, as Carleton was 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Both teams were locked in a defensive struggle throughout the majority of the second quarter, with the only points of the first seven-plus minutes coming on a pair of Macalester treys. The Knights did not score until 2:26 remained in the half, when a Margie Clauss (Fy./Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn) converted a traditional three-point play that restored Carleton’s lead to double digits. The Knights managed only eight total points in the period but still entered halftime leading 30-21. During the first half, Carleton held Macalester to just 27 percent shooting, including 2-of-13 (15 percent) from 3-point range.
After intermission, Macalester outscored Carleton 11-2 during the first 3:27 of the third period and knotted the game at 32-32. However, Carleton finished the quarter on a 12-2 run, as Jill Yanai (So./Glendale, Calif./Glendale) and Anna Hughes (Jr./Glenville, Ill./New Trier) combined for all of the visitors’ points during this stretch. As a result of their efforts, Carleton led 44-34 as the teams headed into the final stanza.
Macalester opened the fourth quarter with another 11-2 scoring stretch, needing just over three minutes to pull within 46-45. Three-pointers by Yanai, Hughes, and Katie Chavez (Sr./Westminster, Colo./Holy Family) helped the Knights stay in front, but the visitors were unable to pull away and found themselves with a narrow 55-53 lead with 1:20 left to play.
The Knights shut down the Scots’ offense for the remainder of the game, however, as they forced misses on Macalester’s final three attempts. On the other end of the court, one of the top free-throw shooting teams in the nation closed out the game by going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe to clinch the 61-53 win and complete the season sweep of the Scots.
Four of Carleton’s five starters finished the game in double digits: Yanai and Samantha Cooke (Sr./St. Louis, Mo./Incarnate Word Academy) led the team with 12 points apiece, while Hughes and Chavez finished just behind, with 11 points each. Yanai also scooped up 12 rebounds to earn her third career double-double.
Macalester was led in scoring by Justine Barraza, who had a game-high 17 points. No other Scot reached double figures in scoring.
Carleton shot only 32 percent overall but connected on 10 three-pointers and made all 11 of its free throw attempts. Macalester shot 37 percent on the day but went only 4-of-23 (17 percent) from beyond the arc.
This was Carleton’s eighth victory of the season, matching the program’s highest total over the last 10 seasons. The Knights still have four games remaining in the regular season.