The Gustavus women’s basketball team ran into a hot-shooting Macalester squad and lost its first conference game of the year by the score of 88-71 in St. Paul. The Scots shot 61.5 percent from the field (16-26) and made 19-of-29 free throws in the second half to pull away from the Gusties who fell out of first place with the loss. Ann Baltzer led the Scots with 26 points, while Emily Nelson led Gustavus with 19 points. Gustavus falls to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the MIAC.
The Gusties battled to stay close in the first half and trailed by six at 32-26 with two minutes to play before the intermission. The Scots, however scored the final five points of the half, including a three-point basket by Jessica Rene with :03 seconds left, to take an 11-point 37-26 lead into the locker room.
Gustavus whittled the lead to seven points at 46-39 on a layup by Molly Geske at 14:29 of the second half, but that is as close as the Gusties would get. The Scots shot 61.5 percent from the field and went to the free throw line 29 times, which was too much for Gustavus to overcome. Macalester used a 7-0 run midway through the second half to extend a 10-point lead to 17 points and the Gusties would get no closer than 14 points in the final six minutes.
The Gusties got into significant foul trouble in the second half as seven players had three fouls or more including four on Julia Schultz and Molly Geske and five on Emily Nelson. The foul trouble severely limited the playing time of the talented backcourt trio for Gustavus. Macalester struggled a bit at the free throw line making 19-of-29 from the charity stripe in the second half, but shot 61.5 percent from the field to pull away from the Gusties.
Gustavus was led in scoring by Emily Nelson with 19 points. Others in double figures included Molly Geske with 17 and Bri Radtke with 15. Macalester was led by Ann Baltzer with 26 points. Baltzer was an impressive 11-of-14 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. She also grabbed eight rebounds.
The Scots snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Gusties dating back to Jan. 21 of 2002.
Gustavus returns home to face St. Olaf on Wednesday at 7:30 pm.