The Gustavus women’s basketball suffered its first setback of the new year with a 83-76 loss at the hands of Hamline on Monday night in St. Paul. Cold shooting plagued the Gusties in their first contest since falling to Saint Ben’s (64-61) in a heartbreaker on December 11, 2010. Gustavus falls to 3-3 in the MIAC and 4-5 overall, while Hamline improves to 1-5 in the MIAC and 2-7 overall.
Hamline outshot the Gusties 55.6 (28-66) to 42.4 percent (25-45) in the game and outscoring them 44-36 in the second half. The Gusties had six players in double figures, yet Hamline’s big-three of Mary Wilkowski (22 pts), Jackie Kelly (19 pts), and Nikki Klinck (18 pts) combined for 59 points. Kelly was 5-for-6 from behind the arc and Wilkowski was 8-for-12 from the field. Gustavus was led by Molly Geske who scored 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
“Hamline played really well tonight. They played scrappy all night and that sort of took us out of our game and what we wanted to do,” said Head Coach Mickey Haller.
Hamline grabbed an early advantage and would not relinquish the lead until the 6:42 mark of the opening half when Abby Rothenbuehler put Gustavus up 26-25 on a three pointer. The Gusties would build their lead to as many as six points twice in the frame, holding on to a one point edge at the break up 40-39.
The Gusties shot just 37.5 percent (12-32) from the field in the second half, while Hamline was on fire, shooting 61.9 percent (13-21). Hamline’s largest lead of the game came at the 4:47 point when Klinck hit a jumper to put the Pipers up 73-58. Gustavus cut the lead to six points (79-73) with :27 seconds left to play, but Hamline buried 10 free throws in a row in the last 1:21 to ice the game.
Colleen Ruane, Molly Mathiowetz, and Eli Benz all had 11 points, while Kelsey Florian and Ava Perry each scored 10. Benz and Florian each had a team-high six rebounds, while Ruane led the team with six assists.
“We are in January now, the break is over, and I expect to see a complete turn-around with this team the rest of the week,” commented Haller. “We simply need to come out and play our game hard we will be fine.”
The Gustavus women’s basketball team will be back in action on Gus Young Court for a MIAC matchup with St. Catherine University on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.