Winter Sports J-Term Recap

By Josh Springer

Men’s Basketball The Macalester men’s basketball team had a rough and busy early winter season as they played eight games between December 29 and January 21. The team struggled to produce as many victories as they would have liked, however, close wins against Concordia and Augsburg show that the Scots are still capable of success. Although the Scots put forth a strong effort in several close games to visiting St. John’s, Hamline and at Carleton, they walked away from the eight game stretch with a 2-6 record.Throughout the winter break games Tom Conboy ’08 and Brendan Bosman ’06 continued to lead the Scots in both points and rebounds as they have done all season.

The Scots began their winter break play with a tough loss to Viterbo at La Crosse High School in Wisconsin, where Conboy contributed 23 points and eight rebounds. Over the course of late December and early January’s games, Conboy averaged 20.6 points a game, close to his season average of 20.1. Conboy’s offensive presence and dominance down low has helped his team remain competitive both in MIAC and non-conference play.

The leadership and supportive role of team captain Bosman has further assisted the Scots in maintaining high rebounding and solid defense. With 23 points from Conboy and 22 from Bosman, the Scots were able to achieve a close win at home over Concordia on January 2. Clutch free throws from Bosman with less than two minutes remaining helped to seal a victory. Nate Assel ’09 and Lars Johnson ’07 dished out four assists each as the team committed only eight turnovers in the entire game.
Despite the team’s motivating come back win against the Cobbers the men dropped their next four MIAC games to Hamline, Carleton, St. John’s and Gustavus. Although Mac came out on the losing side of these four contests, the Scots fought hard and kept the games close into the final minutes. In their game against Hamline on January 4, the Scots continued to rebound the ball well grabbing 18 offensive boards, which led the team to a season high 71 points.

After the four game slide, Bosman led the team, scoring a team-high 18 points in a much needed win against Augsburg. The Scots were able to overcome an 11-point deficit in the first half with a strong offensive effort from Bosman and Jesse Hollander ’07. Hollander scored nine in a key 13-0 run in the second half to put the team back on top of host Augsburg for good.

Mac most recently played Bethel, a team they beat 66-54 earlier this season on November 30. Unfortunately, the men were unable to duplicate their previous success, falling to Bethel 75-87.

Women’s Basketball

The women’s basketball team continued to struggle during their games over winter break. However, the team, which got back in full swing after a cut-off season in 2004-2005 managed to produce a solid win in southern California on a three game long road trip to Caltech, Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Scots went 1-6 over the winter break and will restart play on campus on December 27.

The Scots experienced their first loss of the break to St. Catherine’s on December 29. The team committed a total of 36 turnovers, which killed their ability to get back into the game. Although, the women were outscored 85-35 in the defeat, the team maintained composure and focus.

Against Monmouth at home, Elise Pagel ’09, who has provided the revitalized women’s team with consistent offensive production all season, scored 27 points while going 10-17 from the field. Pagel’s reliability throughout the season has helped the Scots stay aggressive against a number of tough teams.

The women achieved their second win of the season by beating Caltech in their first game in the Los Angeles area. The Scots held Caltech to only 31 points in the game, posting their best defensive effort of the season. Pagel once again led the team scoring 16 points. Both she and Callie PaStarr ’07 dished out five assists each, proving that the team is showing signs of strong cohesive play. Also demonstrating a solid offensive and defensive effort was Meghan Garrity ’08 who registered nine points, four assists and four steals in the Scot’s victory.

Unfortunately, Garrity is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, a loss that Head Coach Thompson said will hurt the team, as Garrity is an energetic and athletic player. “The team had a great experience at California, as they found themselves more competitive and confident playing schools like Caltech,” said Coach Thompson.

Even though the team lost its remaining four games during the break, the women posted a couple close performances against Pomona-Pitzer and Finlandia in Michigan. “They have been working extremely hard and their improvement and progress is showing as the season goes. We are still very much in the rebuilding process,” Thompson said.

The Scots play their next game at St. Thomas on January 25, when Coach Thompson will return to her former team for the first time this season.

Swimming and Diving

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams produced a number of solid performances as well as impressive individual achievements. The team began their J-term schedule with an annual training trip to Maui, Hawaii. Although the team did not compete in Maui, they were given ample time to practice and condition for a busy line-up of upcoming meets.

The Scots returned to Minnesota to face MIAC powerhouse St. Olaf in a home meet. The Oles outscored the men 133-26 and the women 174-63. However, Macalester saw notable races from both Heather Lendway ’06 and Sjon Swanson ’06.

Lendway distanced herself from the competition and won both the 200-meter individual medley and 400-meter freestyle. Swanson edged a St. Olaf swimmer by .11 seconds to come up with a victory in the 50-meter freestyle

The women were able to bounce back from their defeat and place third out of 10 teams at the Grinnell Invitational, which took place the following weekend on January 13th and 14th. The men put forth a strong effort placing sixth out of seven teams at the invitational. There, Lendway and Swanson continued to produce distinguished individual performances while Alanna Mozena ’07 came through for the team, achieving second place in the 1-meter diving competition.

Although the Scots suffered a tough loss to Wisconsin-Eau Claire in their next meet, the women’s team once again rallied to first out of eight teams at the St. Catherine’s Invitational. All across the board, the Mac women swam outstanding races combining for 10 first place finishes.

This was the third year in a row the Scots have run away with the team title. The women won the 200-yard medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay. The Mac men came up with first place finishes from Swanson and David Wright ’07 in the 200 IM, 100 breast, and the 400 IM respectively. The Mac men finished third out of three teams.

The Scots will host Gustavus Adolphus at home on January 27.