The Gustavus women’s basketball team rallied in the final five minutes to defeat Hamline 55-51 in St. Peter, Minn. on Wednesday evening. Bri Monahan led the Gusties in scoring with 21 points. Jess Vadnais, who hit a big three-point basket to give Gustavus a 47-46 lead with 4:21 left, finished with 17 points.
Hamline jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the game and held the lead up until the 3:00 minute mark of the first half. The Pipers held their biggest lead of the half at six points (21-15) with 4:47 left before the intermission. Gustavus outscored Hamline 8-0 in the final four minutes of play to take a 23-21 lead into the locker room at halftime. Laurisa Ewert tallied 10 points in the first half for Hamline, while Jess Vadnais led Gustavus with eight.
The second half was a real see-saw battle with seven lead changes and eight ties through the first 13 minutes of the second half. The score was tied 42-42 with 7:29 left in the game, when the Pipers went on a quick 4-0 spurt to take a 46-42 lead with 6:40 left on the clock. Gustavus, however would counter with a 13-5 run the rest of the game to claim the 55-51 win. Bri Monahan started the comeback with two free throws at the 4:48 mark to cut the lead to 46-44. The Gusties would then force a turnover on Hamline’s next possession and Jess Vadnais came down the floor and knocked down an important three-point shot to give Gustavus a 47-46 lead. Gustavus would add five more points to push the lead to six at 52-46 with 1:08 left in the game. Laurisa Ewert converted a three-point play to cut the lead to 52-49, but the Gusties would make 3-of-4 free throw shots in the final :30 seconds and hold on for the 55-51 victory.
Monahan (21) and Vadnais (17) were the only players in double figures for Gustavus. Laurisa Ewert scored 26 points to lead Hamline.
Gustavus shot 39.6 percent from the field (21-53) and 50.0 percent from the free throw line, while Hamline shot 34.0 percent from the field (18-53) and 76.2 percent from the free throw line. The Pipers outrebounded the Gusties 44-30, but Hamline committed 33 turnovers compared to 21 for Gustavus.
The Gusties improve to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC, while Hamline falls to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the MIAC.