St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s basketball team could not keep a surging Macalester team at bay in the final stages of the game on Monday night at Gus Young Court. Despite trailing by nine points with nine minutes remaining, Macalester closed the gap and took its first lead of the game at the 4:25 mark. Gustavus tied the game at 55-55 with 1:25 remaining, but a put-back layup by Macalester’s Veronika Jakubovie with :21 seconds on the clock turned out to be the game-winning shot in the two-point victory.
Gustavus drops its second straight conference game and is now 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the MIAC. Macalester picks up its first league win of the season and improves to 2-7 overall and 1-5 in the MIAC.
“You have to give a lot of credit to Macalester – they knocked down shots when they had to,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “They’ve struggled to make baskets down the stretch this season but tonight they were able to shoot 46-percent in the second half and pull out the victory.”
The Gusties got out to a fast start and led 11-1 by the 14:12 mark of the first half. The lead fluctuated in the single digits from that point on before the Scots brought the score to within two points (17-15) at the 7:15 mark. The Gusties answered with a 13-5 run to grab a double-digit lead at 30-20 with 1:55 left in the half. Gustavus held on to a comfortable advantage for the remainder of the half and went into the locker room up 32-23.
Gustavus shot 52.2-percent from the field in the opening half compared to Macalester who shot 36.4-percent. Karina Schroeder (So., Lake Crystal, Minn.) led all scorers in the frame with nine points after going 4-for-7 from the floor. Schroeder got into foul trouble early in the second half and finished the game with 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
Following a 5-2 run to start the second half, Gustavus had its largest lead of the game at 12 points (37-25) with 16:57 remaining. It was at the 9:05 mark that Macalester began to slowly chip away at the lead. The Scots went on a 12-4 run at that point and eventually brought the score to within one point at 52-51 with 4:59 left. Veronika Jakubovie gave the Scots their first lead of the game at the 4:25 point and the visitors would not relinquish it for the reminder of the contest.
The Gusties were outscored 34-23 and were held to just 26.3-percent shooting in the final 20 minutes.
“Our defense broke down in the second half and we ended up not reaching our goal of holding them under their season average because of it,” Kelly said. “The key stat in this game, however, was our missed free throws. We missed 15 free throws and went to the line 36 times tonight. In a two point game, those free throws are the difference.”
Julia Dysthe (Sr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) scored eight points in the second half, bringing her game-high total to 16 points after shooting 4-for-7 from the field and knocking down 8-of-10 free throws.
Gustavus finished the game 17-for-42 (40.5%) from the field, 0-for-2 from behind the arc, and 21-for-36 (58.3%) at the free throw line. Macalester went 22-for-52 (42.3%) from the field, 3-for-8 (37.5%) from three-point range, and 10-for-20 (50%) at the line. The Gusties out-rebounded the Scots 33-to-30, but Macalester won the turnover battle 15-to-18, which included a 4-to-10 margin in the second half.
Leading the Scots in scoring were Erin Murray and Katelyn Kack who both finished with 12 points. Jakubovie brought down a game-high 10 rebounds and added eight points.
“It’s early in the conference season, but if this isn’t a wakeup call for our team, I’m not sure what is,” concluded Kelly. “January is a grueling month in the MIAC and now we have to go play a Bethel team who is unbeaten in conference play in a short turnaround on the road. We’ll have to focus on making small improvements at practice tomorrow and go from there.”
The Gustavus women’s basketball team will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 8 when it travels to Arden Hills, Minn. to face Bethel University at 7:30 p.m.