Ole basketball dominates Cardinals: St. Olaf records important MIAC victory with a 68-40 win

On Monday, Feb. 9, the St. Olaf men’s basketball team faced St. Mary’s University on Bob Gelle Court. The Cardinals proved to be no match for the Oles, as St. Olaf prevailed by a score of 68-40. Following a midweek loss to University of St. Thomas and a victory over Concordia College, St. Olaf finishes the regular season with a 21-5 record and 16-4 within the MIAC.

The tip went to the Cardinals, who led the Oles 10-6 early on in the encounter. Ben Figini ’16 led the way for St. Olaf, making the first basket of the game two minutes into the first half. St. Mary’s took an early lead, but Evan O’Dorisio ’18 made a layup with 11:46 left in the first half to give St. Olaf an 11-10 advantage. Mason Braden ’15 furthered the lead after grabbing an offensive rebound and tipping it into the basket.

Although the game got off to a slow start and fewer fans than usual filled the stands to cheer the Oles on, the pace began to pick up near the end of the first half. St. Olaf quickly built momentum and gained energy that turned into points on the scoreboard. The teams returned to their locker rooms at the half with the Oles leading 36-21.

After the halftime break, in which members of the St. Olaf Dance Team performed, St. Olaf kept its energy and furthered its lead over the Cardinals. After Sam Daly ’15 banged a three home early in the second half, and the Oles were up 41-23 with 15 minutes left to play. With 10 minutes left in the game, the Oles led the Cardinals 54-34 and the final buzzer brought a 28-point victory for the Oles, with a score of 68-40.

Sterling Nielson ’15 scored 13 points throughout the game and Figini had nine points, all during the first half. Austin Majeskie ’17 scored eight points and Evan O’Dorisio ’18 scored six.

The Oles followed last Monday’s win

with a victory over Augsburg College on Wednesday, Feb. 11. The final score was 67-58. On Saturday, Feb. 14 the Oles added another win to their record when they beat Hamline University after two overtimes with a final score of 100-88. On Monday, Feb. 16, the Oles played at St. Thomas University and lost 49-66. To complete its regular season, the Oles toppled Concordia College on Feb. 18 with a score of 65-60.

St. Olaf is ranked number 15 in division three men’s basketball in the nation and holds the second seed going into the MIAC conference playoffs.