Leading Saint Mary’s 34-31 at halftime, the Gustavus women’s basketball team opened the second half of Wednesday’s game on a 17-0 run en route to a 70-58 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over the Cardinals in Winona.
Gustavus opened on a 20-7 run over the game’s first 8:38, but Saint Mary’s responded with a 13-point run of its own, forging a 20-20 tie with seven minutes remaining in the first half. The Gusties extended the lead back to six points in the closing minutes of the half before Cardinal first-year Calla Swenson drained a three-pointer with 32 seconds remaining to cut the Gustavus advantage to 34-31 at intermission.
Behind 10 points by sophomore guard Jess Vadnais (Hudson, Wis.), the Gusties scored 17 unanswered points to open the second half, leading 51-31 with 13:42 remaining in the game.
The Cardinals outscored Gustavus, 25-14, over the next 11 minutes to cut the Gustie lead to nine points at 65-56, but could get no closer. Gustavus scored five of the game’s last seven points to set the final margin of victory at 12 points.
Jess Vadnais led all players with 23 points, including 21 in the second half. Bri Monahan (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) chipped in 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while adding team-highs with six rebounds and three assists. First-year guard Emily Nelson (Mankato, Minn.) added 10 points off the bench, while sophomore forward Vicky Peterson (Plymouth, Minn.) also ripped down six boards.
Ashley Luehmann led the Cardinals with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Jessica Weisbrod added 17 points and six rebounds. Sarah Murphy pulled down a game-high nine rebounds off the bench as Saint Mary’s out-rebounded Gustauvs, 40-29.
Wednesday’s win was marked Gustie head coach Mickey Haller’s 100th victory at Gustavus. Haller is 100-41 overall, 83-31 in the MIAC in her sixth season with the Gusties.
Gustavus improves its record to 6-3 overall, 4-2 in the MIAC. The Gusties will host Bethel in another MIAC match-up on Saturday afternoon.