St. Peter, Minn. - Led by a career performance from senior wing Britta Rinke (Waconia, Minn.), the Gustavus Adolphus women’s basketball team earned a 75-53 victory over the University of Northwestern at Gus Young Court on Saturday afternoon. Rinke posted career-best marks in both points and rebounds, scoring 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting and bringing down 10 rebounds (8 defensive) to finish with a double-double for the first time in her career. Gustavus improves to 3-0 to start the year, while Northwestern falls to 4-2 with the loss
“It was nice to see Britta come into her own today,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly about Rinke’s performance. “She made shots early and that gave her a lot of confidence. Because their defense was so focused on Julia and Karina early, that opened the door for Britta and she took advantage and knocked down shots. This is the type of game she is capable of and we’re happy to see her begin to step up as a leader in this offense.”
For the third straight game, the Gusties used an efficient shooting performance to take advantage in the first half. Gustavus shot 51.6-percent from the field compared to Northwestern’s 24.1-percent mark in the opening frame.
With a 10-9 lead at the 14:22 mark of the opening half, Gustavus went on a 10-0 scoring-run to go up 19-9 by 10:33. The Gusties went up by as many as 15 points (34-19) with 3:28 left in the half following a pair of free throws by Britta Rinke.
Leading 36-22 at the break, Gustavus pushed the margin to 20 points at the 16:42 mark of the second half when Rinke converted on a pair of free throws. She went on to score 12 points in the final 20 minutes after going a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and 2-for-2 at the line.
Gustavus remained in control for the remainder of the game, leading by as many at 28 points (66-38) with 5:52 on the clock. The Gusties shot 55.2-percent from the field in the second half, their best second half shooting performance of the season.
To go along with Rinke’s 25 points, Lindsey Johnson (So., Edina, Minn.) and Julia Dysthe (Sr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) also finished in double-figures. Johnson scored 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting and also brought down seven rebounds (6 defensive). Dysthe added 12 points after going 5-of-8 from the floor and 2-for-5 from three.
Gustavus turned in its best shooting performance of the season, going 32-for-60 (53.3%) from the field, 2-for-9 (22.2%) from three, and 9-for-12 (75%) at the line. The Gusties committed just eight turnovers and outrebounded the Eagles 43-33.
“Our goal defensively was to hold them under 55 points, and we reached that,” commented Kelly. “Stopping Morrie Sir was a focus of ours heading into this game and we held her to just three points on 1-of-13 shooting. We shut down who we identified as their top threats and that’s a big boost for our defense.”
Northwestern was led in scoring by Chanel Madson who scored 21 points (6-17) and Courtney Cunard who contributed 13 (5-9). The Eagles shot 27.4-percent (17-62) from the field, 29-percent (9-31) from three, and 83.3-percent (10-12) at the line.
The Gustavus women’s basketball team concludes its 2013-14 non-conference schedule and will now begin MIAC play next week when it plays host to Hamline University on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
“It feels good to be 3-0 heading into MIAC play and we’ve definitely shown improvement over the first three games,” concluded Kelly.