The Gustavus women’s basketball team hosted Saint Mary’s University on Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minn. The Cardinals took the lead with 8:35 left to play in the first half and never trailed again. The Gusties battled to pull within one point twice in the last five minutes of play. Ashley Luehmann hit a key three-pointer with 18 seconds left to put the game out of reach for the Gusties. Saint Mary’s defeated Gustavus 61-55 to improve to 14-5 overall and 10-5 in the MIAC, while the Gusties fall to 12-7 overall and 10-6 in the MIAC.
The game had six ties and four lead changes in the first 12 minutes of play. Saint Mary’s scored to take a one point led (18-17) with 8:35 left to play in the first half. Back-to-back three pointers by Ashley Luehmann and Angie Arrington gave the Cardinals a 24-17 lead with 7:00 left. Saint Mary’s would hold an eight point lead at the half (33-25).
Jamie Rattunde capped off a 9-0 run with a lay up to give the Cardinals an 11 point advantage (27-38) with 18:17 left to play in the game. The Gusties battled back to pull within three points (37-40) as Bri Monahan made a free throw to complete a three-point play with 14:37 left in the game. The Cardinals would stretch the lead to 11 again with 13:05 remaining in the conference game. The Gusties would make a 10-2 charge to pull within three points (47-50) with a little over six minutes to play.
With 1:47 left in the game, Bri Monahan added two of her team high 17 points to pull Gustavus within one point (55-56). The Gustie defense held the Cardinals and forced a turnover to give them a chance to tie or take the lead with 1:22 left on the clock. The Gusties made a costly turnover on the in bounds pass as the ball bounced on the line to give the ball back to Saint Mary’s with just one second off the clock.
The Gusties would force the Cardinals to take two three point baskets, but the Cardinals were able to grab both rebounds. Saint Mary’s took a timeout with 42 seconds remaining to get situated. Twenty-four seconds were run off the clock and Ashley Luehmann put the game out of reach for the Gusties as she hit a three point basket with 18 seconds left to play. Luehmann would add two free throws to make the final 61-55 in favor of Saint Mary’s.
The Gusties were led by Bri Monahan with 17 points and eight points. Jess Vadnais and Kristin Kachelmyer would add 11 points each. Jamie Rattunde and Ashley Luehmann led the Cardinals with 20 points each. Angie Arrington was also in double digits for Saint Mary’s with 11 points.
Gustavus will return to action on Monday night versus Bethel in Ardin Hills, Minn. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30pm.