The Gustavus women’s basketball team gained sole possession of third-place in the MIAC standings with a 76-67 win over Concordia at Gus Young Court on Monday night. The Gusties shot a blazing 62 percent from the field on 18-for-29 shooting, including 4-for-5 from behind the three-point arc. Gustavus moved to 15-7 overall and 14-5 in league play for third-place as Concordia dropped to 14-8 overall and 13-6 in the conference.
Offense was hard to come by in the early stages of the first half as both squads battled to a 16-16 tie with 6:31 on the clock. The Cobbers went on a 10-3 run with a pair of three-pointers from Anna Matetich and Sara Sorbo to take its biggest lead of the contest at 26-19 with 2:37 remaining. Gustavus closed out the half strong with a 6-1 run with a pair of free throws from Molly Mathiowetz (Fy., Sleepy, Eye, Minn.) and Bri Radtke (So., Winsted, Minn.) to trail 27-25 at halftime. Concordia was 9-for-33 in the first half, but grabbed 12 offensive rebounds for the intermission lead.
The second half proved to be an entirely different offensive story as the squads combined for 91 points. Baskets were exchanged during the most of the half as neither team was able to make a defensive stop the score was tied nine times before settling on 62-62 with 3:48 on the clock. Gustavus took charge from this point starting with a steal from Emily Nelson (Jr., Mankato, Minn.) that resulted in a Mathiowetz layup. On the next Gustie possession, Mathiowetz hauled down an offensive rebound and dished off to Nelson for a three-pointer on the right wing for a 67-62 lead. Jess Vadnais (Sr., Hudson, Wis.) ran down the shot clock after a Melanie Hageman free throw with a pull-up jumper at the free throw line to made the deficit a two-possession contest. The Cobbers cut the lead to five points after a pair of free throws from Kaitlynn Gottenborg at 70-65 with :38 left. Nelson was fouled immediately on the inbounds play and hit both shots from the charity stripe to put the game out of reach. Vadnais went 4-for-4 from the line in the last :23 to clinch the 76-67 victory.
The two top scorers in the MIAC did not disappoint as Gustavus’ Vadnais finished with 25 points, including 20 in the second half, compared to 21 points and 11 rebounds for Concordia’s Hageman. Other double-digit scorers for Gustavus included 18 points for Katie Layman (So., Hudson, Wis.) on 8-for-12 shooting and 10 points for Nelson. Molly Mathiowetz compiled nine points and seven rebounds, including four rebounds in the last three minutes. The Cobbers were given a boost off the bench by Erica Nord and Maggie Bauernfeind, who poured in 13 and 10 points, respectively. Gustavus finished at 52 percent shooting for the game as the Gusties outrebounded the Cobbers 21-9 in the second half.
The Gusties will travel to Northfield to face St. Olaf on Saturday at 1 p.m. Concordia will face Augsburg in Minneapolis on Saturday at 1 p.m.