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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Women’s hoops back on track

<ding into the second half of the MIAC season, the Knights have begun to attack the second round of opponents with a fresh start and new mindset. Coach Cassie Kosiba has now faced almost every opponent in the MIAC during her first year as head coach, and is better prepared to attack previous defeats with a new attitude and angle.

Though Carleton (4-10, 3-8 MIAC) had struggled over the last several games, standing 11th in the conference, the second round of opponents began Wednesday with Hamline (4-8 MIAC), whom the Knights defeated in December in a 77-67 season opener upset.

After an eight game losing streak, the Knights were once again victorious, completing the sweep of Hamline with a 71-63 win. Akemi Arzouman ’13 (16 points, 15 rebounds) had her second and Emma Purfeerst ’14 (14 points, 10 boards) her sixth double-double of the season. Ally Weaver ’11 and Jenny Ramey ’14 also put up double figures, with 20 and 11 points, respectively.

Carleton led the Pipers 38-25 after the first half, with only five turnovers committed. In the second half, Hamline’s attempted to chip away at the lead, but the Knights went on a 10-2 run to stay in control.

Another key factor was the post presence, as the Knights outscored the Pipers 38-28 in the paint.

Despite a vicious schedule against some of the top opponents in the conference, the Knights have put up a strong fight to change the overall outcome of the remainder of their season. In the last two road matches against Macalester and Gustavus, the team has reshaped and reanalyzed its focus, narrowing the point deficit in the outcome of the two games, which the improvements paying off in the game against Hamline.

Against Macalester on Monday, Arzouman and Purfeerst both put up good figures, leading the Knights as far as possible in a 46-61 loss. Arzouman had 14 points and 11 rebounds, as she stands sixth in the MIAC averaging 14.2 points per game. Purfeerst scored 10 points and had an impressive 13 rebounds.

Weaver contributed 11 points, as she approaches the 1,000-point scoring career mark at Carleton. After Wednesday’s game, she stands at 971 career points.

Macalester had four players in double figures, and the team collectively out-rebounded Carleton, leading to many second chance attempts that were converted into points. The Knights have a -5.92-turnover margin, last in the MIAC, and the 20 turnovers shaped the final result of the game. The Scots went on a 20-5 run in the first half, which was a difficult setback to overcome.

The Knights came out looking for a win with a big second half comeback against Gustavus on Saturday. Despite trailing 41-27 at the end of the first half, the Knights got fired up, shooting 53% from the field, yearning to put the Gusties to rest. They slowly chipped away at the deficit, making the Gusties nervous until the last seconds ran out, with the Knights falling 68-63.

Five Knights hit double figures in the loss led by Weaver’s 17 points and Purfeerst, who had another double-double with 13 points and 12 boards. Arzouman had 13 as well, and Jessa Youso ’13 and Ramey had 10 points each. A critical component to the game, however, was 15 first half turnovers, as well as an 18-10 run by the Gusties.

Even so, the team was positive about the game.

“Gustavus was a true team effort, a turning point in our season,” Holly Buttrey ’14 said. “The game this evening against Hamline truly embodied the essence of our team playing together.”

The Knights have proved that they are capable of staying with opponents in the MIAC if they can reduce turnovers and stop unanswered runs. In the recent losses by the Knights, the turnovers and points allowed have been increasingly large factors in the outcomes of the games. The Knights have a scoring offense of just 52.3 points and a scoring margin of -12.5 points. To shape a positive outcome for the second half of the season, Carleton will have to produce solid numbers from more than three players per game, as they demonstrated against Hamline. Ramey leads the MIAC in assists, with an average of 4.23 per game, but the Knights are last in the conference with a 0.41 assist to turnover ratio.

On Saturday, the Knights head to St. Olaf (5-7 MIAC) for a 1 p.m. contest. The next home game is a double-header against Concordia on January 26th, with a 5:45 p.m. tip-off at West Gym.

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