Men's Basketball Winter Break Update

By Daniel Kerwin

Tom Conboy ’08 overtook Ben Van Thorre ’04 to become Macalester’s all-time scoring leader on Wednesday in a 68-65 victory over St. Mary’s, the win snapping an 8-game losing streak that had lasted throughout January. Conboy passed Van Thorre’s 1707 career points when he drained a 3-pointer midway through the first half. With his 26 points in the game, he now has 1729 for his career. Conboy, who also had 14 rebounds in the game, became Maclester’s all-time rebound leader Jan. 19 against Carleton, passing the mark of 722 that was also held by Van Thorre.

Macalester ended 2007 with a thrilling victory over Northwestern (Minn.) as Abe Woldeslassie ’08 made two free throws with one second left on the clock. Heading into January the team was atop the MIAC standings, but after the 8-game losing streak the team now sits in a tie with Augsburg for 9th place.

Production wise, the team wasn’t struggling during the long losing streak. Conboy extended a streak of 20-point games to nine during the stretch, and Woldeslassie scored a career high 34 points Jan. 9 in a loss to St. John’s. Conboy also had a career high against St. John’s with 19 rebounds. Brian Ranwick ’08 and Woldeslassie are also leading the MIAC in the number of 3-pointers made.

The main disadvantage Macalester has faced has been on the boards, on one occasion being out-rebounded 50-26 by Augsburg.

Macalester was close to ending its losing streak at 6 games on Jan. 21 against Hamline, when Kyle Hamblett ’11 sunk two free-throws with nine seconds left to send the game into overtime; but Hamline managed to pull out a 101-94 victory.

Hamblett’s free throw shooting once again came in handy against St. Mary’s, this time proving to lead to the game clinching points. Hamblett has been hot lately, scoring a career high 18 against Hamline and posting 17 points against St. Mary’s.

Macalester still can make a charge for the playoffs with 8 games remaining in the team’s conference schedule.

While the win against St. Mary’s could be the start of a turnaround, it came against a team with only one victory on the whole season, the equivalent of an NBA team beating the Timberwolves, so Macalester is in for a challenge from here on out. With Conboy, Woldeslassie, Ranwick and Nick Hanks ’08 graduating after the season, there is extra incentive for the team to come on strong down the final stretch.

The Scots will try to begin a winning streak tomorrow against Concordia at St. Catherine’s.