Women’s Basketball Holds Off Late Rally To Defeat St. Ben’s 66-63

Posted on January 18th, 2010 by

Katie Layman goes up for two points after an offensive rebound in the first half.

The Gustavus women’s basketball team escaped with a 66-63 victory over Saint Benedict Monday night in St. Peter, Minn.   The Blazers outscored the Gusties 40-25 in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome an 18-point first half deficit as the Gusties claimed the important conference victory.  The win leaves Gustavus in sole possession of first place in the MIAC at 10-1.  Bri Radtke led all scorers with 18 points.

Gustavus started the first half red-hot has they jumped out to a 10-0 lead.  Molly Geske was a key contributor as she drained her first four shots from the field.  The Gusties continued to build their lead and led by 20 points (37-17) at the 2:52 mark in the first half.   Gustavus made 18-of-39 (46.2%) of its field goals in the first 20 minutes led 41-23 at the break.

Just as the Gusties got of to a fast start in the first half, the Blazers came out firing in the second half.  A 23-9 run in the first ten minutes of play cut the Gusties’ 18-point halftime lead to four points at 50-46 at the 9:16 mark.  Bri Radtke sparked the Gusties with two important three-point baskets within a minute of each other giving Gustavus a 58-51 lead with 4:07 on the clock.

Saint Benedict slowly picked away at the lead in the final four minutes finally cutting the lead to one point on a long three-point basket by Mindy Schmidt with :05 remaining.  Molly Geske was fouled immediately on the inbounds play and she made both free throws allowing the Gusties to hold on for the three-point (66-63) victory. The win snapped a three-game losing streak to the Blazers dating back to February of 2008.

The Gusties 10-1 record in the first half of league play ties the best start in MIAC play in the program’s history.  Coach Mickey Haller’s squad also started the 2002-03 season with a 10-1 conference mark and went on to finish at 20-2 to tie for the MIAC Title with Carleton and St. Ben’s.

Bri Radtke led all scorers with 18 points.

Gustavus begins the second half of MIAC play on Wednesday night at Carleton. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.  The Gusties defeated the Knights 77-61 in St. Peter on December 2.

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