Moorhead, Minn. - The Gustavus Adolphus women’s basketball team could not overcome an early deficit in a 65-49 loss to Concordia College on Saturday afternoon at the Memorial Auditorium. The Cobbers took advantage of 19 Gustavus turnovers and shot 46.7-percent from the field in the second half to secure the victory and win the 2013 MIAC Championship outright. Gustavus concludes the 2012-13 regular season with an overall record of 15-10 and an MIAC mark of 14-8. Concordia heads into the MIAC Playoffs the No. 1 seed with an overall record of 20-5 and an MIAC mark of 19-3.
After a back-and-forth opening five minutes of the game, a pair of free throws by Concordia’s Erika Jossart sparked a 9-1 run that put the Cobbers up 19-9 with 7:33 left to play in the half. Gustavus was forced to play catchup for the remaining minutes, cutting the lead to four points (27-23) with :33 seconds remaining on two free throws by Kelsey Florian (Sr., Roseville, Minn.). Jossart knocked down two more free tosses with :07 seconds left to put her squad up 29-23 at the break.
Gustavus outshot the Cobbers 38.1 to 33.3-percent from the field in the first half, yet was plagued by 11 turnovers inside the frame. Florian led the Gusties with eight points after going 2-for-4 from the field and 4-for-4 at the line. She finished the game with 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting.
The Cobbers scored six of the first eight points of the second half to extend its margin to double-figures at 35-25 with 17:38 on the clock. After a jumper by Abby Rothenbuehler (Sr., North Mankato, Minn.) cut the lead to eight, Concordia blew that game open with a 17-3 scoring run that brought the score to 52-30 with 11:51 left in the game.
The Gusties chipped away at the deficit and brought the deficit to 59-49 by the 3:10 mark. Ten points would be all the closer Gustavus would come, as St. Olaf scored the last six points of the afternoon to bring the contest to a final.
Julia Dysthe (Jr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) led Gustavus with 10 second half points points after going a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from three-point range. Dysthe paced Gusties in scoring for the game with 14 points after going 6-for-11 from the floor and 2-for-4 from three.
Dysthe’s 14 second half points was no match for the combined 27 points scored by Concordia’s Emily Thesing and Tricia Sorensen. Thesing went 6-for-9 from the field and hit three triples to lead the way with 17 points, while Sorensen scored 10 after going 4-for-7 from the field.
After shooting 39.1-percent from the field in final 20 minutes, Gustavus finished the game 17-for-44 (38.6%) from the floor, 4-for-14 (28.6%) from beyond the arc, and 11-for-17 (64.7%) at the free throw line.
Thesing led all scorers with 22 points after going 8-for-17 from the field. Erika Jossart scored 13 (4-12), and Sorensen added 10 (4-10). The Cobbers ended up 23-for-57 (40.4%) from the floor, 7-for-18 (38.9%) from three, and 12-for-16 (75%) at the line.
With the playoff field set, the Gustavus women’s basketball team will head on the road to Winona, Minn. to face Saint Mary’s in the MIAC Playoff Semifinals on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The Gusties and Cardinals will square off at 7:30 p.m.