The Gustavus women’s basketball team opened its 2006-07 season with a 60-45 win over Wartburg at Gus Young Court in St. Peter, Minn. The Gusties trailed 23-20 at the half, but then rallied to outscore the Knights 40-22 in the second half and claim the 15-point victory. The Gusties’ Jess Vadnais led all scorers with 21 points.
Both teams got off to a slow start as Gustavus made three of its first 11 shots and committed seven turnovers, while Wartburg made three of its first 11 shots and also committed seven turnovers. The Knights held a 9-8 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Wartburg outscored the Gusties 8-3 over the next six minutes and held a 17-11 lead with just over four minutes left in the first half. Gustavus got a basket from Katy Layman to break a six minute scoring drought cutting the lead to 17-13 at the 3:59 mark. A couple of fine defensive plays by first year Brianna Radtke sparked the Gusties to a 7-2 which gave Gustavus a 20-19 lead with 1:05 left in the half. Wartburg would get a basket from Megan Hendricks with six seconds left to give them a 23-20 lead at the intermission.
Gustavus was able to make only 8-of-26 shots from the field in the first half including 1-of-10 from three-point range. In addition, the Gusties made only 3-of-13 from the free throw line and turned the ball over 12 times. Fortunately, for the Gusties, Wartburg was not much better making only 8-of-21 shots, including 1-of-8 from behind the arc and 6-of-12 from the free-throw line.
The Gusties would warm up in the second half making 15-of-27 from the field (55.6 percent), 4-of-10 from three-point range, and 6-of-9 from the free throw line. Vadnais was the catalyst for Gustavus as she scored 18 of the team’s 40 points. She made 6-of-8 from the field including 2-of-4 from behind the arc and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Wartburg on the other hand was not ever able to find the hot hand and remained cool from the field making only 8-of-23 from the field and 4-of-11 from the free throw line.
Gustavus outscored Wartburg 8-2 to start the second half and a three-point basket by Jess Vadnais gave the Gusties a 26-25 lead with 17:38 left in the game. Gustavus would not trail the rest of the contest. Leading 28-27 with 15:54 left to play, Gustavus used an 8-0 run to extend its lead to nine at 36-27. A lay-up by Wartburg’s Megan Hendricks cut the lead to seven at 36-29, but the Gusties would use a 5-0 run to push the lead to 12 at 41-29 with 11:50 left in the game. Wartburg would get no closer than 10 points the rest of the game. A jumper by Katy Layman with 3:04 left gave the Gusties their biggest lead of the night at 19 points (56-37). The Knights would pull within 13 at 58-45 when Hollee Silvey made a three with :27 seconds left, but Gustavus closed out the scoring with a basket by Kenzie Consoer as time expired making the final score 60-45.
Jess Vadnais was the only Gustavus player in double figures with 21 points. Wartburg did not place a player in double figures, however three players contributed nine points including Hollee Silvey, Megan Hendricks, and Sharese VanSloten. The Knights did a nice job of containing Gustavus All-America candidate Bri Monahan limiting her to nine points and six rebounds.
The Gusties, who move to 1-0, will face Marian College in the first round of the Colorado College Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday at 3:00 pm (Mountain Standard Time). Should Gustavus win on Friday, it would play the winner of the Colorado College vs. Austin College game on Saturday at 3 pm in the championship game. Should the team lose on Friday, it would play the loser of the Colorado College vs. Austin College game on Saturday at 1 pm.