The Gustavus women’s basketball team got its first win of the season by defeating UW-River Falls 70-59 on Monday night in St. Peter, Minn. After a tightly contested opening half, Gustavus pulled away in the second, outscoring the Falcons 38-27 in the frame. The Gusties had three players in double-figures with Molly Geske leading the way with 14 points, Kelsey Florian adding 13, and Molly Mathiowetz scoring 12. Falcon guard Tiffany Gregorich led all scorers with 16 points. With the victory, Gustavus moves to 1-1 overall, while UW-River Falls starts its season 0-1.
“It was a great overall team effort tonight. We had a lot of solid individual contributions that were key in the win ” said Head Coach Mickey Haller.
The Gusties got out to another slow start, as UW-River Falls led 13-4 at the 16:00 mark and 21-9 at the 8:27 mark. Gustavus tied the game at 23-23 following a 14-2 run in which five different Gusties scored. Steph Comer gave Gustavus its first lead of the night (28-26) with a three-pointer at the 1:27 mark. The two squads would head to the locker rooms tied 32-32 at halftime.
Molly Geske led the Gusties with 11 points on 4-6 shooting in the first half. Comer scored six points on a pair of three-pointers, while the team shot 12-for-23 from the floor and 4-for-8 from behind the arc. UW-River falls was 13-for-32 from the field and 3-for-5 from three-point range.
Following a three-pointer and a layup by Tiffany Gregorich on the first two UW-River Falls possessions of the second half (37-32), Gustavus responded with a 20-4 run to take a 52-41 lead with 10:06 to play. The Gusties went 9-for-17 from the field and forced six turnovers within the run. The Falcons cut the lead to eight points (57-49) with less that five minutes to play, yet three-pointers on three straight possessions, one by Julia Dysthe and two by Kelsey Florian, kept the momentum on Gustavus’s side. Coach Haller’s squad was able to hold on to the double-digit advantage on the way the 11-point victory.
“We have a lot of players in different roles right now. In the second half they were perhaps more ready to take on the role we needed them to,” said Haller. “It just took us a game and a half to figure out who we are.”
Florian and Mathiowetz led the way in the second half. Florian dropped nine points, going 3-for-3 from the field, while Mathiowetz scored eight points on 4-for-6 shooting. The Gusties were 14-for-27 from the field and 4-for-7 from behind the arc, while UW-River Falls was 9-for-22 from the field and 2-for-6 from three-point range.
The Gusties shot 52 percent (26-50) from the field and 53.3 percent (8-15) from three-point range in the game. Molly Mathiowetz was the top Gustavus rebounder in the game, bringing down six boards while shooting 5-for-9 from the field. Florian was 5-for-6 from the floor and 2-for-2 from behind the arc. Geske went 4-for-8 from the field including a 5-for-8 performance at the charity stripe.
UW-River Falls shot 40.7 percent (22-54) from the field and 45.5 percent (5-11) from three-point range. Tiffany Gregorich was 5-for-7 from the floor, while Alise Holst was 6-for-12 for 12 points. UW-River Falls out-rebounded the Gusties 36-26, yet committed 23 turnovers compared to Gustavus’s 17.
“Tonight, especially in the last five minutes of the first half and the final 20 minutes, we just went out and got it done,” commented Haller.
The Gustavus women’s basketball team will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 3:00 p.m. The Gusties will travel to Sioux Falls, S.D. to take on Augustana College in their third consecutive non-conference bout.