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ISSUE 121 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/7/2007

Women capture MIAC win

By Lauren Melcher
Staff Writer

Friday, December 7, 2007

Wednesday the St. Olaf women's basketball team climbed out of the cellar in the MIAC with a 45-37 home win over a rejuvenated Augsburg program.

Augsburg, which finished with a 1-24 record last season, had begun the season 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the MIAC. However, the Oles jumped out to a 25-13 lead in the first half and held on the rest of the way for their first MIAC win. Augsburg narrowed the lead to 32-31 late in the second half until three straight buckets from Elyse Erickson '09 put the game away.

The Oles now sit in a tie for 9th place in the conference.

Erickson led the Oles with 14 points and four steals, though she was just 6-20 from the field. Point guard Jamie Erdahl '11 had a team-high seven assists to go with 10 points and seven reboounds.

Kristina Stoermer '08 helped the Oles to a 50-40 advantage in rebounds with 12 boards of her own. Her sister Danielle Stoermer '08 added six points and seven rebounds.

Defensively, the Oles turned in a stellar effort. They limited Augsburg to just 26.5 percent shooting on the game. In the decisive first half, they held the Auggies to only 13 points and five field goals on 21.7 percent shooting.

The win helped the Oles bounce back from a disappointing road loss earlier in the week and gave them their first conference win under new head coach Dave Stromme.

Monday night the Oles handed Concordia-Moorhead its first win of the season in less-than-spectacular fashion. In the game at Moorhead, Concordia easily won 76-52 to run their MIAC record to 1-2 and leave the Oles winless in conference games at 0-2.

St. Olaf held their last lead midway through the first half, but allowed a big Concordia run before halftime that extended the Cobber lead to 13 points at the break. The women never recovered their lead, allowing 41 points in the second half on 46.7 percent shooting.

"Concordia really broke through our defense," Kristina Stoermer said. "Our offense just wasn't really there either."

Stoermer scored 13 points in the game as one of two Oles in double figures. Erickson contributed a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, though she fouled out late in the game. Erickson leads the team in scoring and rebounding. From beyond the arc, the Oles were just 4-20, a 20 percent three-point percentage.

A key post sub, Britta Hendrickson '09, suffered a concussion in last week's loss against Hamline. The team felt her absence deeply during the Concordia game, as six players scored seven or more points apiece to contribute to the Cobber offensive attack.

The Oles turned the ball over 18 times against Concordia, but forced only eight turnovers on defense. They were out-rebounded and out-shot by the Cobbers.

Erickson has led the team in scoring every game this season. She averages 16.5 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. Erdahl leads the team in assists with four per game. The Stoermer twins each average over six rebounds per game.

St. Thomas arrives at the Skoglund Gym Saturday for the Oles' last game until January. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. The Tommies are 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the MIAC after suffering a 74-68 loss to Macalester Wednesday night.

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