- Junior Troy Diggins Jr.
led the St. Olaf College men's basketball team with 18 points and nine rebounds as they downed Macalester, 71-39, in a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) contest Wednesday evening at Skoglund Center.
St. Olaf (7-6, 6-2) held Macalester (3-11, 0-9) to 16 points and 28 percent shooting from the floor in the first half, as they surged out to a 20-point lead heading into halftime and extended their lead in the second half as the Oles shot 48.1 from the floor in the half.
Macalester's 39 points were the fewest by a St. Olaf opponent in 146 games since a 65-37 win over Carleton on December 3, 2013.
Twelve St. Olaf players scored in the contest, and senior Austin Korba
reached double figures, along with Diggins, as he posted 13 points, five rebounds and six assists.
In the first half, the Oles jumped out to a 15-4 lead after senior Ben Scheffley
found senior Jake Lyle
behind the arc for a three-pointer with 13:07 remaining in the first half.
St. Olaf held Macalester scoreless for 4:21 in the first period, as the Oles took an 18-point lead with a layup from Diggins. The Oles took its largest lead of the half after Lyle scored his second three-pointer of the game to make the score 31-10.
With 27 seconds remaining in the first half, Diggins sank a three-pointer to give St. Olaf a 20-point leading heading into halftime.
The Oles extended their lead in the second half, starting the half on a 10-0 run and holding the Scots scoreless for the first 4:12. After a layup from Macalester's Nikhil Smith, a layup from Diggins and a pair of free throws from junior Noah Beck
gave St. Olaf a 32-point lead at 50-18.
At 7:05 Diggins found first year Nathan Hendler
behind the arc, as he sank the three-pointer, to give St. Olaf a 58-29 lead.
Junior Travis Fauchald
and Hendler scored back-to-back baskets in the final two minutes of the contest to account for the final margin of the game.
St. Olaf held the lead for the last 38:39 of the game and trailed just after the first possession. The Oles forced 22 Macalester turnovers as St. Olaf scored 23 points off turnovers, compared to just eight points off turnovers scored by the Scots.
The Oles have beaten the Scots 23 out of the last 24 meetings since January 1, 2008.
St. Olaf is back to action on Saturday, January 11, as they travel to Collegeville, Minn. to face No. 11 St. John's University in a MIAC contest.