Scots shake off winless season, cruise past Crown

By Nate Wilson-Traisman

Jan 30, 2008 – the last time the Macalester men’s basketball team had won a game. 657 days, 33 games and almost one and a half seasons later, the Scots ended their drought in head coach Tim Whittle’s Macalester debut, beating Crown College, 77-60.

In his first game as a head coach at the collegiate level, Whittle’s Scots looked hungry for a win, scoring 23 of the games first 30 points en route to the 17 point victory.

“We are thrilled to open the season with a win and get this team some much needed confidence on the basketball court,” Whittle said. “I knew we could put it all together, but we had to prove it to ourselves.”

Crown cut the Scots 17 point halftime lead to 57-50 with 7:51 left in the second half, but Macalester rallied with 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions – two from Pierce Peters ’13 and one from Paul Richie ’10 – to put the game away for good.

Macalester’s bench proved pivotal in the victory, outscoring the Crown bench 41-18. The Scots shot 47 percent from the field and 43 percent on three pointers (9-21) in the route. Twelve of thirteen Scots who played in the game scored.

“I was satisfied most with the contribution by all 13 players last night,” Whittle said. “Every single player did something to help us beat Crown. We have emphasized from day one, we must get better every day and the team is starting to see the results of this philosophical goal. We shot the ball fairly well and had a nice balance between inside and outside play.”

Colin Keeley ’11 recorded a double double, posting 18 points and 11 rebounds and Jerry Kraus ’10 added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Scots. Colin Jarvis ’13 added 12 points going 4-7 from beyond the arc.

Keeley pointed to more meticulous preparation and Whittle’s new offense as being crucial to the season-opening win.

“Coach Whittle is all about the details. He makes sure we are as well prepared as we can be come game time,” Keeley said. “Last year it was more acceptable to just go through the motions.”

Crown, who was also coming off a winless 2008-09 season, was led by Steve Boger’s 12 points.

Macalester travels to Roseville on Tuesday to take on Northwestern in hopes of avenging last season’s 26-point loss.

“Crown was just the beginning for us,” Keeley said. “We plan to go into every game knowing we can beat the other team.