The Gustavus women’s basketball team found its shooting touch again in the second half of Wednesday night’s 73-66 win over Hamline at Gus Young Court in St. Peter. Katie Layman posted 14 points on 5-6 shooting from the field in the second-half to lead a Gustie offense that shot 50% from the floor in the half. Hamline had three players score in double-digits, but committed 25 turnovers that resulted in 25 points for Gustavus.
Gustavus applied full-court pressure from the opening tip-off and for most of the first half. Hamline was prepared though as the Pipers jumped out to a 22-12 lead that was capped by a three-pointer by Grace Weinreich with 7:52 on the clock. The Pipers built their biggest lead of the game by forcing Gustavus to commit 10 of its 21 turnovers during this time span.
The Gusties turned their play around when Emily Nelson checked into the game to charge the defensive effort. After Nelson’s entrance, Gustavus went on a 22-6 run and forced 11 Piper turnovers to close out the first half with a 34-28 lead. Jess Vadnais broke out of a scoring slump by scoring 12 points on 4-7 shooting from the field in the first half.
Hamline cut the Gustavus lead to 34-30 on its first possession of the second half on a pair of Mary Wilkowski free throws, but that was as close as the Pipers would get. Katie Layman took control of the paint with three turnaround jump shots on the lower right block as part of a 13-3 run to give Gustavus its biggest lead of the game at 47-33. Vicky Peterson also knocked down a pair of 15-foot jump shots during the run. The Gusties maintained a double-digit lead until the last minute of the game despite committing five turnovers as Gustavus was scoreless for 3:45. Hamline scored nine points in the last minute, but it was not enough as the Gusties pulled out the 73-66 win.
Gustavus broke out of its shooting slump with 50% shooting in the second half on the way to a 41% field goal percentage for the contest. Jess Vadnais (Sr., Hudson, Wis.) scored a game-high 21 points to go along with four steals. Vadnais moved to within nine points of breaking the all-time Gustavus scoring record of 1,466 points set by Bri Monahan last year. Katie Layman (So., Hudson, Wis.) contributed a career-high 16 points in the win on 6-10 shooting. Jessica Heinen paced the Pipers with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Mary Wilkowski and Grace Weinreich scored 10 points each.
The Gusties, who improved to 6-6 overall and 5-4 in the MIAC, will host St. Olaf on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Gus Young Court. The Pipers, who fell to 7-4 overall and 4-5 in conference play, will host Saint Benedict on Saturday at 3 p.m. in St. Paul.