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ISSUE 117 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/5/2003

Basketball takes home opener

By Ken Foote
Sports Editor

Friday, December 5, 2003

The men’s basketball season already resembles a roller coaster after only three games . After a Nov. 25 season-opening 65-57 victory over host Luther, in which head coach Dan Kosmoski, now in his ninth season, notched his 100th career victory, the Oles lost their conference opener on the road to Concordia 80-68 on Nov. 29.

Continuing the up-and-down trend, the team rebounded to win their home opener 76-59 over Martin Luther College on the first day of December.

Poor execution plagued the team in its openning game.

The season opener was one marred by fouls and poor shooting, as both teams exhibited the rust that normally accompanies season opening contests.

The Oles shot only 37 percent from the field, while Luther managed to hit only 35 percent of their shots.

Perimeter scoring came through for the Oles in their victory.

In this low-scoring affair, the Ole’s ability to connect from behind the arch was the difference in the game.

As a team, St. Olaf was 12-28 from three point range with Pat Fraser ‘05 and Jon Butala ’07, who both hit three of five from that distance, and Ted Gonsior ‘05, who knocked down four of his eight attempts from the land of plenty, doing the majority of the downtown damage.

The long distance shot that had served the Oles so well against Luther abandoned them in the MIAC opener, as the squad went 5-15 from deep and was unable to keep up with a high-powered Concordia offense that came into the contest averaging 100.5 points per game.

The Oles quickly fell behind 22-8 before firing back and cutting the deficit to one heading into the halftime break. St. Olaf opened the second half with a 9-2 run and held the lead until Concordia went on a run of their own and coasted to victory.

Butala led the way for the Oles with 20 points while Nate Lund chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.

Despite the convincing score, the Oles were anything but impressive in the season’s first game at the Skoglund Athletic Center. The los

“We didn’t match up very well,” Kosmoski said. “There is certainly a lot left to improve upon.”

The team was able to grind out the win by relentlessly pounding the glass and getting to the free throw line.

The Oles out-rebounded the Knights 47-29 and went 28-34 from the charity stripe.

Butala led the way for the Oles again, this time posting a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Fraser chipped in 12 points and five steals, while Matt Schlenker ‘04 celebrated his return to the lineup by scoring 11 points and nabbing eight boards.

The Oles have the remainder of the week to prepare for Saturday’s MIAC showdown with St. Mary’s. Tip off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. in Winona.

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