St. Olaf takes down Saint Mary's

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WINONA, Minn. – First year K'Lynn Lewis tied a career-high 26 points, including 20 points in the second half, as the St. Olaf College women's basketball team down Saint Mary's University, 78-71, in a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) contest Thursday evening at Saint Mary's Gym.

After St. Olaf (7-13, 4-9 MIAC) trailed by as many as seven points in the final period, the Oles went on a 12-2 run and took a six-point lead over Saint Mary's (12-8, 8-5 MIAC) with less than two minutes remaining in the contest. The Oles secured the victory at the free throw line, shooting 9-for-10 from the line in the last 50 seconds of the game.

St. Olaf outscored the Cardinals 33-17 in the fourth quarter and shot 53.6 percent from the floor while holding the Cardinals to 35.3 percent from the field in the second half.

Lewis led the Oles with 26 points, four assists and three rebounds. Senior Makenna Ash posted a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds, along with two assists.  Sophomore Keegan Mulvihill and junior Ella Skrien each added 14 points, as well as nine rebounds from Mulvihill.

St. Olaf led for the first six minutes of the game, including a Lewis three-pointer to five the Oles a three-point lead with 6:52 remaining in the period. The Cardinals answered with a 12-2 run and took a seven-point lead after a Maggie Robertson basket and just over a minute to play in the first quarter.

At 7:20 in the second period, the Oles regained the lead after Lewis converted a three-point play to make the score 16-14. Saint Mary's answered with a  9-2 run and regained the lead, while extending it to five points after a three-pointer from Claire Patterson.

St. Olaf scored two pairs of free throws in the final two minutes of the first half, including a pair from Ash and a pair from Mulvihill to even the score at 30-30 heading into the second half.

The Oles started the second half on a 9-2 run, taking a seven-point lead with a Lewis layup and 7:32 to go in the quarter. Saint Mary's came back with a 10-1 run, regaining a two-point lead, but a jumper from junior Kelsie Gerovac evened the score at 43-43 with just under four minutes remaining in the third.

The Cardinals held St. Olaf scoreless for the next 2:56 and took a nine-point lead with one minute remaining in the period.  A pair of free throws from first year Rose Bauernfeind brought St. Olaf within seven, but the Cardinals sank two free throws to keep their lead at nine heading into the final period.

Mulvihill scored two early baskets in the fourth quarter to cut the Cardinals' lead to six. At the 4:50 mark of the final period, Lewis sank a three-pointer to bring the Oles within one at 61-60 that started a 12-2 run. St. Olaf took a six-point lead with 1:57 remaining with a first year Camryn Scott basket.

With 42 seconds remaining in the game, Brooklyn Paulson of Saint Mary's drained a three-pointer to make the score 71-68, in favor of the Oles.

St. Olaf was sent to the line five times in the final 50 seconds of the game and shot 9-of-10 from the line to secure the victory.

Despite the Cardinals sinking 10 three-pointers in the game, the Oles shot 43.1 percent from the floor in the game, while holding Saint Mary's to 33.8 percent shooting from the floor in the contest.

The Oles return to action on Saturday, Feb. 2, as they travel to Moorhead, Minn. for a MIAC matchup against Concordia (Minn.) beginning at 1 p.m.