Skrien's career-high 22 points lift Oles past St. Kate's

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Senior Ella Skrien had a career-high 22 points as the St. Olaf College women's basketball team downed St. Catherine University, 58-55, in a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) contest on Monday night at Skoglund Center.

Skrien had a career-best 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including nine points in the second quarter. St. Olaf (5-4, 2-2 MIAC) outscored St. Kate's (3-4, 1-3 MIAC), 13-4, in the final 5:28 on the third quarter to take a nine-point lead heading into the final period.

Despite the Wildcats going on a 15-6 run in the final period to get back within three with 52 seconds remaining, a basket from first year Sophie Olmen with 24 seconds to go regained a five-point lead for the Oles and free throws from Skrien and sophomore Camryn Scott secured the victory.

In addition to Skrien's 22 points, first year Rachel Kelly reached double figures with 10 points and five rebounds, while Scott led the Oles with 11 rebounds and five points. This is Scott's fifth game this season with double-digit rebounds.

After junior Keegan Mulvihill had back-to-back baskets, the Wildcats answered with a 6-0 run and took an eight-point lead in the first quarter. Kelly found Skrien behind the arc to get St. Olaf back within five at 16-11 heading into the second quarter.

St. Olaf outscored the Wildcats, 15-9, and got nine of Skrien's 22 in the second quarter. The Oles trailed St. Kate's 23-15, but three baskets in a row from Skrien cut the deficits to just three at 23-20, with just under four minutes remaining in the half.

After the Wildcats extended their lead back to five, a pair of free throws and a basket by Skrien in the last 1:15 of the quarter put the Oles up one, 26-25, heading into the break.

The game saw four lead changes in the first four minutes of the third quarter before St. Olaf went on an 8-0 run sparked by a pair of free throws from sophomore K'Lynn Lewis to put St. Olaf up, 39-31, with 2:12 remaining in the period.

The Oles got a pair of free throws and a jumper from Skrien in the final 30 seconds of the third quarter to extend the lead to nine, 44-35, heading into the final period.

A three-point play from Kelly gave St. Olaf an early 12-point lead in the fourth quarter, but St. Kate's answered with a 15-6 run and got back within three of the Oles with just under a minute to play in the game.

The Wildcats trimmed the St. Olaf lead to five, but a three-pointer from Lewis and a pair of free throws from Kelly regained a double-digit lead with just under four minutes to play. A jumper from Lauren Isaacson and a free throw from Bree Glynn got St. Kate's within three of the Oles at 53-50, with 52 seconds remaining.

With 24 seconds left in the game, Olmen finished a basket up the middle to put St. Olaf up five. Skrien and Scott recorded free throws in the final 10 seconds on the contest to secure the victory.

The Oles held St. Kate's to 27.7 percent shooting in the contest and outrebounded the Wildcats 40-38.

St. Olaf is back on the road on Wednesday, Dec. 11 for a MIAC contest against Hamline at 7 p.m.