Tommies topple Scots in conference opener

Forward Anna Smith’s 11 points led the No. 5 St. Thomas women’s basketball team to a 58-47 victory over Macalester Wednesday at Schoenecker Arena.

It was the Tommies’ first MIAC win of the season. The Scots (1-3, 0-1) dropped their second straight game.

With a potential season-ending injury on the line for All-American candidate center Maggie Weiers, St. Thomas (3-1, 1-0) is making adjustments to the team’s starting lineup.

Coach Ruth Sinn said the team is adapting to Weiers’ absence on the court.

“If we get her back, that’s great, and if we don’t, then we’ll just need to keep moving on,” Sinn said. “You can only control what you can control.”

The Tommies came out strong in the first half, pressing a solid defense against the Scots.

Out-rebounding the Scots 33 to 26, the team had aggressive defense all game.

Dockter said she thought the team’s play set the tone for conference games.

“We were just trying to come into the MIAC season strong and confident coming off our tough non-conference games,” Dockter said. “We were really trying to get into the flow and share the ball and pass it around.”

Guard Kelly Brandenburg made a crafty jumper when she rolled around the Scot defense during the first half. Brandenburg went 4-for-4 at the line against the Scots.

The Scots shot 31 percent from beyond the arc, while the Tommies shot 30 percent. Guard Kellie Ring sunk a 3-pointer from outside the paint. Ring went 1-for-2 in 3-pointers and 2-for-4 from the field.

Forward Taylor Young said the team approached the game with confidence after defeating No. 1 Wisconsin-Stevens Point Sunday.

“We knew we needed to play the same way against Macalester even if they aren’t the number one team,” Young said.

Brandenburg kept the Tommies surging ahead in the first half when she cut around the Scots’ defense to the hoop.

The Tommies took a 36-31 lead into halftime.

The Tommies continued playing consistently on both ends of the court in the second half. Young’s game-altering block against Scots’ guard Carmen Whitehead kept the team moving forward.

St. Thomas held a comfortable 43-33 lead after forward Alyssa Favilla went 2-for-2 from the free throw line in the second half.

Sinn said the team’s consistent defense kept it in a strong place.

“That’s our constant,” Sinn said. “When the offense goes a little bit south, our defense will come through.”

The second half ended when forward Anna Smith hooked a left-handed shot, getting fouled in the process. Smith went 3-for-4 from the line against the Scots. The Tommies defeated the Scots 58-47.

St. Thomas will play its next game against Hamline at 1 p.m. Saturday away.

Dockter said the team will take the momentum from this win into Saturday’s game.

“We know (Hamline is) going to come out after us and physical and tough like Macalester was,” Dockter said. “We just need to build off tonight’s game and keep improving and working toward that (game).”

Sean Crotty can be reached at