The Gustavus women’s basketball team had its season cut short after falling to Saint Mary’s 67-77 on Monday night in the first round of the MIAC playoffs. Four of the five Gustie starters scored in double figures, but Saint Mary’s held off Gustavus to gain its first-ever MIAC playoff win. Gustavus was led by first year guard Jess Vadnais who scored 16 points and sophomore post Bri Monahan who scored 14 points and added eight rebounds. Seniors Kristin Kachelmyer and Lacy Skoog added 13 and 10 points, respectively, in their final game for Gustavus. Senior guard Jamie Rattunde recorded an impressive double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead Saint Mary’s into the second round of the MIAC playoffs.
All the cards seemed to be stacked against Gustavus heading into the game. The Gusties were 0-3 when playing on the road in the playoffs, and were looking to become the first team to ever win on the road in the MIAC tournament. Saint Mary’s also swept the regular season series, defeating the Gusties 60-53 on January 5 and 61-55 on February 5.
The Gusties struggled in the first half of play, converting only 9 of 29 shots from the field (31.0%) compared to 16 of 26 (57.1%) from Saint Mary’s. Jamie Rattunde scored 15 of her 23 points in the first half as the Cardinals, who led by as many as 16 points in the half, jumped out to a 39-26 halftime lead.
Gustavus improved its shooting to 50.0% (12-24) in the second half and twice cut the Cardinals lead to three points, but Saint Mary’s halftime lead proved too large to overcome. The Gusties pulled to within three points with just over ten minutes remaining in the game off a three-point play from junior guard Sara Boldt. The Cardinals, however, went on a 12-5 run in the next six minutes to pull away for good.
The Gusties finish their season with a record of 14-10 overall. In other playoff action, #3 St. Ben’s defeated #6 St. Thomas 74-62 and will travel to Concordia to take on the Cobbers on Wednesday night. Saint Mary’s will travel to Northfield to take on #1 Carleton College on Wednesday.