The Gustavus women’s basketball team saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end on Monday night in a 69-51 decision against Saint Benedict in St. Joesph. The Gusties trailed 29-28 at halftime, but could not contain the Blazers during a 19-3 run midway through the second half as three Saint Benedict players registered double-digits in the period. The Blazers’ Mindy Schmidt led all players with 20 points, while Molly Mathiowetz contributed 13 off the bench for Gustavus.
Saint Benedict flew out to an early 18-6 lead in the first six minutes of the contest, but the Gusties battled back with an 18-6 run of their own to even the score at 24-24 with 4:46 remaining in the half. Mathiowetz would score eight points during the run, including three consecutive lay-ups. Both squads would exchange baskets for the rest of the period as the Blazers went into the locker room with a 29-28 lead. The Gusties owned a 16-9 rebounding edge, while shooting 46 percent from the floor to get back into the match.
Gustavus tied the game at 32-32 with 17:50 on the clock, but never regained the lead. The Blazers went on a 19-3 run that featured 10 points from Mackenzie O’Neil including two three-point baskets to build a 51-35 lead. The Gusties were unable to cut the deficit to fewer than 13 points, though, as the team shot a dismal 26 percent compared to a steamy 52 percent for Saint Benedict. In addition to hot shooting, the Blazers hit 14-18 from the charity stripe for the 69-51 victory.
After Mathiowetz’s (Fy., Sleepy Eye, Minn.) 13 points, Bri Radtke (So., Winsted, Minn.) and Jess Vadnais (Sr., Hudson, Wis.) chipped in eight points each for the Gusties. Gustavus has struggled on the road against Saint Benedict in recent years, as the Gusties are 2-8 in St. Joseph since the 2000-01 season. Mindy Schmidt recorded 20 points on 8-17 shooting, while reigning MIAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week Danielle Frank made her presence felt in the paint. Frank compiled 10 points, 14 rebounds, including 10 in the second half, and five blocks.
Gustavus, which drops to 12-7 overall and 11-5 in the MIAC, remain in third place in the conference standings after a Concordia loss to St. Catherine. The Gusties will host Saint Mary’s on Wednesday night at Gus Young Court at 7:30 p.m. Saint Benedict, which improves to 15-4 overall and 13-3 in the league, will travel to Northfield to take on St. Olaf on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.