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ISSUE 118 VOL 11 PUBLISHED 2/25/2005

Hoopsters fall short

By Marjorie Thirlby
Sports Editor

Friday, February 25, 2005

Last Saturday marked the end of a season filled with close calls for the St. Olaf women’s basketball team. The Oles endured a 67-60 overtime loss to St. Mary’s, making it one of the five times the women had held leads late in the game and were defeated by a small margin.

The Oles needed a win and a St. Thomas loss to make the MIAC playoffs as the number six seed. Unfortunately, the Cardinals pulled away in the extra session.

At the end of the first half, the Oles held a 31-26 lead with Kristy Larson ’05 already contributing eight points. The team was 6-of-6 from the free throw line and shot an impressive 48 percent from the field.

Unfortunately, the Ole’s consistency could not be maintained during the second half. Their shooting percentage fell 35 percent and the squad commited 15 turnovers. “We got too antsy on offense and didn’t look for the high percentage shot,” head coach Pat Buresh said.

As the game progressed, the competition grew fiercer. With 14 minutes remaining in the second half, the lady Oles had a 12-point lead over St. Mary’s. The lead came to an end when Ashley Luehmann of St. Mary’s nailed a three-pointer, tying the game with just 1:13 left in the half.

The Cardinals continued to show their strength in overtime. The team scored the first six points in the period, only let one point from St. Olaf get by, and won the game. Jamie Rattunde scored six out of St. Mary’s eight points in the quick period, four being free throw shots.

Despite the Oles’ loss, several players offered outstanding performances on the team. Larson, who earned MIAC Co-Athlete of the Week honors after averaging 16.3 points a game last week, finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.

Holly Grimsrud ‘05 also made an impressive contribution, pouring in 11 points.

Although the Oles will lose two key seniors, Larson and Molly Simon ‘05, Buresh has strong hopes for next season.

“I think we’re on the cusp of doing a lot of great things,” reflected Buresh. “I think that we’re going to be a very good team next year.”

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