After shooting poorly and trailing by three points at halftime, the Gustavus women’s basketball team came to life in the second half and outscored Concordia 40-32 on its way to an important 66-61 conference victory. Molly Mathiowetz led the Gusties in scoring with 17 points including 11 in the second half. Gustavus has now won four straight games and is 4-1 on the season.
In a topsy-turvy battle between two teams considered to have a legitimate shot at claiming the conference title, it was the Gusties hot shooting and solid rebounding that allowed them to slip past Concordia in St. Peter on Saturday. There were 10 lead changes and nine ties in the game. It was a three-point basket by Gustavus guard Ava Perry that put the Gusties on top to stay. Perry’s trey at the 9:54 mark of the second half broke 43-43 tie. The Cobbers would stay close in the final nine minutes of the contest but never re-take the lead.
Gustavus took its biggest lead of the second half when Perry made another three with 4:05 remaining to push the Gustie lead to eight at 58-50. The Cobbers would cut the lead to three twice, the last time at 64-61 on a layup by Sara Sorbo with 25 seconds remaining. Single free throws by Perry and Coleen Ruane in the final 20 seconds would allow the Gusties to hang on for the victory.
Four Gustavus players reached double figures in scoring including Mathiowetz with 17, Molly Geske and Katie Layman with 14 each, and Ava Perry with 10. Katie Layman registered a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
After starting the season with a disappointing 69-37 loss to Division II Augustana, the Gusties have responded with wins over Wartburg 79-63, UW-Eau Claire 72-66, Carleton 77-61, and Concordia 66-61.
Gustavus will continue conference play with a game at Saint Mary’s on Monday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 pm.