The Gustavus women’s basketball team locked up the #3 seed in the MIAC Playoffs with a hard-fought 79-71 win over Carleton at Gus Young Court. The Gusties took a 2-0 lead on free throws by Angie Peterson and would not trail the rest of the game in knocking off the eighth ranked Knights. Peterson paced the Gusties with 21 points, while Linnea Engel led Carleton with 23 points. The Gusties finish the regular season with a mark of 20-5 overall and 18-4 (third place) in the MIAC, while Carleton finishes at 22-3 overall and 19-3 (co-champions) in the MIAC.
The game was played at a very high level with both teams displaying great intensity and composure. Gustavus held a slight three-to-five point lead through most of the first half. The Gusties extended their lead to seven points at 25-18 on a lay-up by Jennifer Klohs at the 8:19 mark. Carleton responded with a 5-0 run to cut the lead to two at 25-23 with 7:04 remaining before the intermission. Gustavus out-scored Carleton 10-8 the rest of the half and went into the lockerroom with a four-point lead (35-31) at the half.
In the second half, Gustavus slowly built its lead up to eight points at 47-39 at the 14:11 mark. Two free throws by first year post Bri Monahan gave the Gusties their first double digit lead of the game at 49-39 with 13:44 left to play. Gustavus maintained its double-digit lead over the next five minutes, however the Knights used a 8-1 run to cut the lead to four at 61-57 at the 6:59 mark. Kristin Kachelmyer sparked the Gusties by scoring six consecutive points and pushing the lead back to seven points at 67-60 with 5:27 remaining in the contest. Carleton would not get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Angie Peterson led Gustavus with 21 points. She was joined in double digits by Kristin Kachelmyer with 14. Carleton placed a trio of players in double figures including Linnea Engel with 23, Kristi Colbenson with 16 and Megan Vig with 10. The Knights out-rebounded the Gusties 34-33. Gustavus shot 50 percent from the field (31-62) and 69.6 percent from the free throw line (16-23). Carleton shot 46.7 percent from the field (28-60) and 77.8 percent from the free throw line (14-18). Another key stat in the game was bench scoring where the Gustie reserves out-scored the Knight reserves 30-8.
Gustavus finished the MIAC regular season with a perfect 11-0 record at home. This is the first time the Gusties have posted a perfect mark at home in league regular season play in the program’s history.
It was an emotional victory for five Gustavus seniors who were playing their final regular season home game for the Gusties. That group included Angie Peterson, Kate Sandvig, Jen Klohs, Laura Haugen, Kelly Van Norman, and Kirsten Kaufmann. That group has helped the Gusties compile a record of 79-27 over the past four seasons.
The MIAC Playoffs will now begin on Monday night (Feb. 23) with #3 seed Gustavus hosting #6 seed St. Thomas and #4 seed Concordia hosting #5 seed St. Mary’s. Both games will begin at 7:30 pm. St. Ben’s (#1 seed) and Carleton (#2 seed) will host Monday’s winners on Wednesday night (Feb. 25) in the semifinals.