The Gustavus women’s basketball team outscored St. Olaf 34-22 in the second half for a 58-44 victory Wednesday night on Gus Young Court. Jess Vadnais (Jr., Hudson, Wisc.) recorded 22 points in her 36 minutes of play to lead Gustavus. The Gusties improve their record to 21-3 overall and 18-3 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while St. Olaf falls to 6-18 on the season and 6-15 in the conference.
The Gusties were trailing 14-12 in the first half with 9:45 to play when Brianna Radtke (Fy., Winsted, Minn.) hit a long jumper from beyond the free-throw line to tie the game. A minute-fifteen later, Katie Layman (Fy., Hudson, Wisc.) laid in a basket to give Gustavus a 16-14 lead. However, St. Olaf reclaimed the lead at the 5:41 mark with Kristina Stoermer’s two-point basket and free throw to give her team a 17-16 lead. Vadnais scored the next six points, including a drive to the hoop for a lay up with 2:36 remaining to give Gustavus a 22-17 lead. The Oles battled back to tie the score at 22-22 with :12 seconds to play as Mary Kleingarn converted a three-point play, but Layman raced down the floor and scored a layup as time expired to give the Gusties a 24-22 advantage at the intermission.
St. Olaf started the second half with a 10-5 run, which gave them the lead of 32-29. Kleingarn capped off the run when she hit a jump shot with 15:10 on the clock. Coach Mickey Haller then called a timeout to settle her troops down and talk strategy. The Gusties listened and went on a 12-1 run, which was started by Vadnais and a lay up at 14:45 and capped by Vadnais and a lay up at the 11:10 mark. Gustavus led 41-33 after its run and continued to extend the lead for the rest of the game. The Gusties stretched the lead to 16 points with 2:27 on the clock and finished the game by the score of 58-44.
Vadnais led all scorers with 22 points, while Layman contributed 10 points for Gustavus. Stoermer (13) and Kleingarn (11) were the only Oles in double figures. Combined, both squads had 110 shots, which contributed to the number of rebounds in the game, 75 between the two teams. For the Gusties, Radtke, Vadnais, Julia Schultz (Fy., Marshall, Minn.), and Bri Monahan (Sr., Hutchinson, Minn.) all had five or more rebounds.
Gustavus will close out its regular season and compete for a share of the MIAC title on Saturday against Carleton in Northfield at 3:00 pm. The Gusties will then compete in the MIAC Playoffs on Thursday, February 22.