Gustavus junior Bri Monahan (Hutchinson, Minn.) scored a career-high 32 points to help the Gusties beat St. Olaf 82-55 on Gus Young Court in St. Peter on Wednesday. Monahan became the first Gustavus women’s basketball player in 14 years to score 30 points in a game. With the win, Gustavus extended its winning streak to four games and improved to 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the MIAC, while St. Olaf dropped to 3-8 overall and 1-6 in the MIAC.
Gustavus opened the game on a 7-2 run. St. Olaf would counter with an 8-2 run of its own to take a 10-9 lead with 15:46 remaining in the first half. The Oles built their lead to as many as four points at 16-12 on a lay-up by Kristina Stoermer with 11:35 to play in the first half. The Gusties responded with a 16-6 rally to take a 24-20 lead at the 4:23 mark of the first half. Gustavus continued to pad its lead as the half closed, taking a 39-27 edge at halftime. Monahan scored 20 of her game-high 32 in the first 20 minutes. Both teams had 12 turnovers apiece in the first half.
St. Olaf opened the second half on an 8-2 run to pull within six at 41-35 with 17:56 remaining in the game. The Gusties outscored the Oles 18-6 in the next six minutes to lead 59-41. St. Olaf pulled to within 13 points at 60-47 on a lay-up by Holly Grimsrud with 9:17 left in the game, but Gustavus pulled away with a 22-8 scoring edge to finish the game. Gustavus’ Jess Vadnais (So., Hudson, Wis.) scored 11 points in the second half to help the Gusties win their fourth consecutive MIAC game.
Gustavus shot 48.3 percent (29-of-60) from the field, 50 percent (6-of-12) from the three-point line, and 72 percent (18-of-25) from the free throw line. Vadnais (17 points) and Emily Nelson (Fy., Mankato, Minn.) (12) joined Monahan in double figures. Monahan also tallied her third double-double of the season as she ripped down 11 rebounds. Gustavus outrebounded the Oles 41-39 and outscored St. Olaf 42-30 in the paint.
St. Olaf shot 35.7 percent (20-of-56) from the field, 22.2 percent (2-of-9) from behind the arc, and 48.1 percent (13-of-27) from the charity stripe. Kristina Stoermer led the Oles with 13 points, while teammate Danielle Stoermer was the only other player in double figures for St. Olaf with 11.
The Gusties are now 32-21 all-time against St. Olaf and have won 13 straight in the series, including seven in a row at home.
Vadnais moved into fifth place all-time on the Gustavus list for career three-pointers made with 62. She is now 62-of-178 from behind the arc for her career. Monahan eclipsed the 700-point mark for her career on a lay-up in the first half. She is now 17th on the Gustavus career points list with 727.
The Gusties will be back in action on Saturday (1/14) when they face Augsburg at 1 p.m. in Minneapolis. This will be the first of seven consecutive road games for Gustavus, which will not return home until February 4 when the Gusties host St. Mary’s.