The Gustavus women’s basketball team jumped out to a 14-2 lead and never looked back on their way to a convincing 68-32 win over St. Mary’s at Gus Young Court in St. Peter. The Gusties were led by Jess Vadnais with 16 points and Julia Schultz with 10. Gustavus is now 18-2 overall and 15-2 in the MIAC.
The Gusties shot a relatively cool 40.3 percent from the field (25-62) in the game, but forced 20 turnovers and held Saint Mary’s to a chilly 16.4 percent from the field (9-55) on their way to posting a 36-point victory over the Cardinals. Gustavus used balanced scoring to make up for a quiet day for Bri Monahan who scored nine points, but grabbed 10 rebounds. Monahan was held in single digits for the first tiime in 18 games and for only the second time in 55 games dating back to her sophomore season. Jess Vadnais turned in a solid performance as she had the opportunity to shoot over the top of the 2-3 zone that the Cardinals played for most of the game. Vadnais was 5-of-11 from the field, 3-of-7 from behind the arc, and 3-of-4 from the free throw line for a total of 16 points. Vadnais saw her consecutive free throws made streak come to an end at 26 when she missed the second of two shots with 4:55 left in the first half. Ironically, Kenzie Consoer grabbed the rebound threw it back out to Vadnais who swished a three-point basket from 21 feet away. The Gusties went into the locker room at the end of the first half with a 37-20 lead.
Gustavus started hot again in the second half and used an 8-2 run to increase the lead to 23 points at 45-22 with 15:54 left in the game. A Jessica Weisbrod lay-up :35 seconds later cut the lead to 21 at 45-24 and that is as close as the Cardinals would get the rest of the way. A three-point basket by Ashley Raymo with 5:08 left extended the lead to 32 points at 60-28.
Saint Mary’s had a rough day shooting as they made only 9-of-55 shots from the field including 0-of-13 from behind the arc. Jessica Weisbrod was a bright spot for the Cardinals as she scored 24 of the team’s 32 points to lead all scorers.
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Gusties have a lot to play for including the regular season league title and the #1 seed in the MIAC Post-Season Tournament. Gustavus, which is currently tied for first place with St. Ben’s at 15-2, will host Concordia on Monday night in St. Peter. The Cobbers, who are 14-6 overall and 12-5 in the MIAC after defeating Hamline 76-64 on Saturday, defeated the Gusties 71-69 in Moorhead with a basket in the final seconds on January 8.