The Gustavus women’s basketball team followed a tough road loss to St. Olaf on Wednesday with a convincing 71-49 victory against St. Catherine on Saturday afternoon in St. Paul. The Gusties improve to 17-4 overall and 15-3 in the MIAC, while the Wildcats fall to 1-20 on the year and 0-18 in conference action.
Senior captain Molly Geske played in her 100th career game wearing the black and gold and led the team with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Kelsey Florian also tallied double digits for the Gusties with 15 points off the bench, including 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
Alyssa Buchner and Sarah Mong put the Wildcats in front 4-2 with a pair of field goals to start the game, but a three-pointer 1:49 into the first half by Abby Rothenbuehler gave the Gusties a lead they never let go of. Gustavus didn’t allow a single point over a five-minute span until Mong put in a layup at the 13:52 mark, but 15 unanswered points by the Gusties followed that for a 29-6 lead with 6:19 left in the half. At halftime, Gustavus led 40-10.
After the break, the Black and Gold continued to pour it on and gained their largest lead of the game 58-20 at the 13:52 mark. The Wildcats outscored the Gusties 29-13 after the 38-point deficit, but it was too little, too late.
Other than the final outcome, the game was fairly competitive in terms of numbers. St. Kate’s outrebounded the Gusties 34-to-32 and Gustavus’ 44.3-pecent (27-61) shooting from the floor slightly bested the Wildcats 42.9-percent (21-49) conversion rate. But turnovers were the deciding factor as St. Kate’s committed 28 with Gustavus collecting 32 points off the takeaway. The Wildcats forced 12 turnovers, but couldn’t capitalize with just two points after the turnover.
Sarina Baker posted 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting and a perfect 4-for-4 from the line as the Wildcats only scorer in double figures.
Gustavus returns to the hardwood on Wednesday with a home match-up against Saint Mary’s University. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Gus Young Court. The Gusties defeated the Cardinals 69-45 on Jan. 4.