Ryan Imhoff scored 23 points on 11 of 14 shooting in just 21 minutes to lead Carroll College to an 85-63 win over Southwestern Christian (Okla.) Saturday at the Carroll PE Center.
The senior forward was 7 of 9 in the first half and made his first five shots to help the Saints to a 42-22 halftime lead. He had seven assists, four rebounds and a huge block for the game.
“Ryan was locked in, not only was he hitting his shot, he was blocking shots and getting assists,” head coach Carson Cunningham said. “He played tremendous defense so it was nice to see him catch fire like that. It is always good when your leading scorer is your assist leader. It sets a great tone and we had 25 assists tonight.”
Like last night, the Saints were impressive on both sides of the court in the first half.
The game was tied at 2-2, but the Saints rattled off a 17-4 run, which included eight points from Imhoff and another six from Matt Wyman, to take complete control of the game.
Carroll built the lead to 38-17 with 4:20 to play before the Eagles cut it to 42-22 at the break.
The second half was more of Imhoff. He scored seven points in the first 3:36 to extend the Carroll lead to 52-28.
“My teammates were just getting me open and finding me in good spots,” Imhoff said. “I was knocking them down and had the hot hand so they just kept feeding me.”
Carroll extended the lead to 73-42 with 7:24 to play. The Eagles chipped away at the score to cut it to 85-63 at the final buzzer, but Carroll moved to 5-0 on the year.
To go along with Imhoff’s strong nights, three other Saints were in double figures. Dane Warp was 6 of 6 from the field and 2 of 2 from the 3-point line to finish with 14 points. Wyman was also perfect, going 3 of 3 from the field and 5 of 5 from the free throw line for 11 points, and Match Burnham added 13 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
The Eagles pressed the Saints for nearly the entire game which led 18 turnovers, but the Saints tallied 25 assists on 32 made shots. Carroll was 32-53 (60.4 percent) from the field and 6-14 (42.9 percent) from the 3-point line.
“We need to make sure that we can keep learning from wins and improving,” Cunningham said. “This was a really good weekend for us to play against two really good presses, to play against high-level athletes from different parts of the country. For us to learn to deal with some different wrinkles that they threw at us. I am impressed with our defensive energy. Ife Kalejaiye and Lorel Johnson played great defense, Match is rebounding and Matt is playing terrific ball up and down the court. Our bench gave us some really nice action. It is Nice to see Dane catch a rhythm tonight after dealing with an ankle injury.”
The Saints next play against the University of Montana on Nov. 26 at Dahlberg Arena in an exhibition game.
“The teams that we are playing help motivate us because they are good,” Cunningham said. “We have a mighty challenge ahead of us with the Grizzlies in Missoula and that is going to be a big motivator for us. We just need to make sure that we can learn from wins and grow as a group.”