The Gustavus women’s basketball team battled St. Ben’s straight up for 35 minutes, unfortunately the Gusties were unable to knock down any key shots in the final five minutes and the Blazers pulled away for a 60-50 victory. Gustavus trailed 44-43 with 6:14 left in the game, however St. Ben’s outscored the Gusties 16-7 the rest of the way to claim the 10-point victory. Gustavus will open MIAC Tournament play on Tuesday at 7:30 pm against an opponent yet to be determined.
The first half was very competitive with nine lead changes and four ties. The Gusties led by three at two different times, while the Blazers biggest was five at 13-8 with nine minutes remaining in the half. Joelle Waytashek hit a three-point basket with :22 left to tie the score at 22-22, but then Bri Radtke hit a jumper with :02 left to give the Gusties a 24-22 lead at the intermission. Neither team shot particularly well in the first half as St. Ben’s made 9-of-26 (34.6 percent), while Gustavus made 8-of-24 (33.3 percent).
The game remained very tight through the first ten minutes of the second half and Gustavus led 37-33 at the 10:40 mark on a basket by Molly Geske. The Gusties took their biggest lead of the game at five points (42-37) after two free throws by Molly Geske with 7:35 to play. St. Ben’s countered with a 15-1 run over the next three minutes to take a nine-point lead at 52-43 with four minutes left to play. Gustavus would battle back and cut the lead to six points at 56-50 with two minutes to play, but that is as close as the Gusties would get as the Blazers would finish up with the ten-point 60-50 victory.
St. Ben’s outscored Gustavus 38-26 in the second half. The Blazers shot 47.6 percent from the field (10-21) and 66.7 percent from behind the arc (6-9) compared to 28.6 percent for the Gusties (10-35) and 20.0 percent from behind the arc (1-5). St. Ben’s struggled a bit from the line making 14-of-21 in the game, compared to 13-of-16 by Gustavus.
Amy Stifter of St. Ben’s led all scorers with 15 points. Joelle Waytashek contributed 13 points for the Blazers. Gustavus was led by Bri Radtke and Julia Schultz with 12 points each.