The Gustavus women’s basketball team rallied in the final minute of play to nip St. Kate’s 57-54 in a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game at Gus Young Court in St. Peter on Saturday afternoon. The Gusties did not hold a lead in the game until Molly Geske hit two free throws with :42 left in regulation play which put Gustavus up 55-54. Bri Radtke and Julia Schultz each made one free throw in the final :19 to allow the Gusties to remain undefeated in league play at 5-0. Laura Kalbfell of St. Kate’s led all scorers with 22 points. Julia Schultz led all Gustavus scorers with 17.
The Gusties had trouble getting into any kind of a rhythm during the game due to cold shooting. Coach Mickey Haller’s squad made 9-of-29 from the field in the first half (31.0 percent) including 1-of-7 from three point range, while the Wildcats shot 58.3 percent from the field (14-of-24) due mainly to numerous easy layups on multiple fastbreak opportunities. St. Kate’s went into the locker room with a 33-26 at halftime.
Gustavus’ shooting woes continued in the second half connecting on only 8-of-24 shots from the field including 1-of-10 from behind the arc, however the Wildcats cooled off as well making only 6-of-21 from the field and 8-of-17 from the free throw line (47.1 percent).
A jumper by St. Kate’s guard Molly Peterson gave the Wildcats a 13-point lead with 7:24 left in the game, however the Gusties countered with a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to cut the lead to three at 51-48 with 4:08 left to play. Brooke Hakanson made 1-of-2 free throws to give St. Kate’s a five-point lead at 54-49 with 3:43 on the clock, however that would be the last point the Wildcats would score. Gustavus scored the final eight points of the game including 6-of-8 shooting from the free throw line in the final two minutes of the game. Julia Schultz hit 1-of-2 free throws with four seconds left to give Gustavus a three-point lead at 57-54 and Brooke Hakanson’s desperation three-point shot from 60 feet as time expired bounced off the backboard giving the Gusties an important come-from-behind victory.
Julia Schultz had a big day for the Gusties as she made 5-of-11 attempts from the field and 7-of-11 attempts from the free throw line for 17 points. She also grabbed six rebounds, recorded five steals, and dished out two assists without committing a turnover. Bri Radtke was the only other Gustavus player in double figures with 14 points.
The Wildcats Laura Kalbfell turned in the performance of the day as she led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field including 2-of-2 from behind the arc and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. She also grabbed eight rebounds. St. Kate’s helped the Gusties get back in the game with 27 turnovers including 15 in the second half.
With the victory, Gustavus remains in a first place tie in the MIAC with St. Ben’s with a record of 5-0. The Gusties are 7-1 overall. Coach Mickey Haller’s squad heads to St. Paul to face Macalester on Monday evening at 7:30 pm.