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ISSUE 119 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/2/2005

Defense proves pivotal in home win

By Matt Tiano
Sports Editor

Friday, December 2, 2005

The St. Olaf women’'s basketball team was victorious for the second time in as many games as they defeated Martin Luther College 71-46 Monday night.

The Oles were led by strong performances from Christina Schwictenberg ’'06 and Kristina Stoermer ’'08, both finishing with 12 points.

The contest went back and forth in the first half; the score was 26-23 in favor of St. Olaf as the teams headed for the locker room.

To begin the second half, however, the Oles erupted with a 25-4 run, blowing the game wide open. Schwictenberg shot 6-of-9 from the field and added six assists. Stoermer shot 6-for-7, while adding three assists and two steals.

Martin Luther was troubled by St. Olaf’'s half-court and full-court trap defense the entire game. The Knights committed 29 turnovers as a result of the pressure.

Forward Christina Sampson ‘'07 was impressed by her team’'s performance on defense.

“"We kept our defensive intensity up through the whole game,"” Sampson said. “"We never gave in."”

The Oles’ defense was definitely the highlight of the night, as Martin Luther managed just 46 points all game. However, the team’'s offensive production was impressive as well. St. Olaf shot a solid 47.8 percent from the field, while simultaneously holding Martin Luther to a dismal 35.8 percent. The Oles also grabbed seven more rebounds than the Knights.

"“We defintely rebounded well [Monday night],”" said Sampson, who pulled down seven boards herself. "“Hopefully we can continue to do that during the MIAC season.”"

On Nov. 22, St. Olaf defeated Buena Vista University in overtime 91-88. Holly Grimsud ‘'07 put the Oles ahead with a layup with 23 seconds left, improving St. Olaf’'s record to 1-1.

Both Schwictenberg and Sampson tallied 18 points.

St. Olaf’'s overall record is now 2-2, and Sampson knows teamwork will be a key factor if the Oles are to gain a second-consecutive playoff berth this season.

“"We all push each other hard in practice every day, and it makes everyone a better player,"” Sampson said. “"We have a lot of confidence in one another and we’'ve got really high expectations for the conference season.”"

The Oles looked to improve upon their 2-2 start in their first MIAC action at Augsburg College on Wednesday. They travel to Collegeville, Minn. to face a solid St. Benedict’s squad Saturday.

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