The Gustavus women’s basketball team has had its ups and downs in this early part of the 2005-06 season, however Coach Mickey Haller’s squad picked the right night to play its finest game of the young season claiming a 67-58 win over first place Carleton. The two teams battled neck-and-neck until the final :90 seconds when the Gusties used a 7-0 run to claim the nine-point victory. Jess Vadnais, who led all scorers with 26 points, was 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final minute of play. Gustavus improves to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the MIAC, while Carleton falls to an identical mark of 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the league.
The first half was very tightly played with five lead changes and two ties. Both teams held six-point leads at one point during the half. Carleton jumped out to an early 8-3 lead, but then the Gusties scored six straight points to take their first lead of the game at 9-8. Gustavus held the lead for the next six minutes and held its biggest lead of the half at six points (21-15) at the 9:35 mark. The Knights immediately countered with a 12-0 run that gave them a six point lead at 27-21 with 6:14 left to play. The momemtum shifted one more time and the Gusties used a 6-0 run to tie the score at 29-29 with 1:42 left on the clock. Both teams would add a bucket in the final moments and the score was tied 31-31 at the intermission. Both teams shot well in the first 20 minutes as the Gusties made 51.7 percent of their shots (15-29), while the Knights made 50.0 percent of their attempts (13-26).
Carleton scored the first four points of the second half and maintained a slim lead through the first eight minutes of play. At the 12:00 minute mark, Gustavus wing Jess Vadnais made a lay-up on a fastbreak. Vadnais was fouled on the play and she made the free throw to give the Gusties their first lead of the second half at 41-40. Two minutes later Carleton’s Annie Isler hit a three to tie the score at 45-45, but Gustavus scored the next six points to take a 51-45 lead and the Gusties would not trail the rest of the game. The Knights cut the lead to two at 60-58 when Megan Vig made one-of-two free throws with 1:20 left on the clock, but Vadnais allowed the Gusties to hold on for the win by hitting 6-of-6 from the line the rest of the way.
Joining Vadnais (26) and Monahan (23) in double figures for Gustavus was Sara Boldt with 10. Carleton was led by Megan Vig with 20 and Hannah Oken-Berg with 10.
The Gusties shot over 50 percent from the field for the first time this season as they finished at 51.9 percent (27-52). The Gusties were dismal from long range making only one of 14 attempts. Carleton shot 44.0 percent from the field (22-50) and 50.0 percent from behind the arc (4-8). Gustavus was 12-of-21 from the free throw line (57.1%), while the Knights were 10-of-15 from the line (66.7%).
Gustavus will now head in to the holiday break and will not play again until January 4, 2006 against Saint Mary’s in Winona, Minn.