The Gustavus women’s basketball won it’s third game in a row, thus making it an official winning-streak, by defeating Bethel 77-64 on Wednesday night in Arden Hills, Minn. Ava Perry led the Gusties with 16 points, matching her season-high, while Abby Rothenbuehler turned in her season-high with 15 points. The Gusties move into fourth place in the MIAC standings with a conference record of 7-5 and an overall record of 8-7. Bethel falls to fifth with a MIAC record of 6-5 and an overall record of 8-6.
“This was a big win for us. It was a quick game and both teams played well. We had solid leadership again tonight and that put us over the edge,” said Head Coach Mickey Haller.
The Royals went up 11-7, their largest lead of the game, at the 14:07 mark of the first half. Perry put Gustavus up 12-11 two possessions later with a three pointer, and the Gusties would lead for the remainder of the game. Gustavus used a 15-2 run within a five-minute span to open up a 31-16 lead with 6:28 left in the half. Bethel battled back to cut the lead to four points (36-32), yet a layup by Molly Mathiowetz with seconds remaining put Gustavus up 41-34 at the break.
Perry led the way with 12 points in the first half, going 4-for-5 from the floor and 3-for-3 from behind the arc. She would finish the game 5-for-9 from the field, 3-for-5 from three point range, and 3-for-3 from the from throw line. The Gusties committed just six turnovers in the frame compared to Bethel’s 12.
“Ava played a great for us tonight. She has consistently elevated her game and becomes a more complete player every time out,” commented Haller about Perry’s performance and season progress.
Bethel stuck around for the opening six minutes of the second half. A three pointer by Steph Comer at the 14:06 mark sparked a 9-1 run that put the Gusties up 57-41. Gustavus would hold on to the double-digit lead until the end, leading by as many as 17 points (68-51) at the 7:02 point.
Gustavus cooled down in the second half, shooting 31.3-percent from the field compared to 53.3-percent in the first half. Bethel shot 42.3-percent from the field in the second half and 50-percent in the first. Rothenbuehler led way with nine points, going 1-for-2 from the field and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe.
The Gusties finished with four players in double-figures. Mathiowetz scored 12 points and brought down six rebounds, and Ruane scored 10 points with a game-high five steals.
The Gusties were 26-for-42 (41.9%) from the field, 6-for-11 (54.5%) from three point range, and 19-for-24 (79.2%) at the line. Bethel was 23-for-50 (46%) from the field, 2-for-9 (22.2%) from three, and 16-for-22 (72.7%) at the line. Gustavus committed 14 turnovers (2nd lowest of the season) in the game, while Bethel turned the ball over 23 times.
Bethel’s Shana Grejtak led all scorers with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Taylor Sheley finished behind her with 18 points, going 6-for-14 from the field.
The Gusties will complete the three-game road stand with a trip to Winona, Minn. to take on Saint Mary’s on Saturday.
“Saturday is going to be another big game for us. Saint Mary’s is playing well too, so to go down there and get our third straight road win would be huge,” said Haller about the upcoming contest.
The Cardinals enter the game with an overall record of 8-6 and a MIAC mark of 6-5. They currently sit in sixth place in the conference standings behind Bethel. Game time in Winona is set 1:00 p.m.