The Gustavus women’s basketball team suffered a hard-fought 50-48 loss to St. Thomas in the MIAC semifinal game on Thursday night in St. Paul. Gustavus’ late nine-point comeback fell just short, as St. Thomas’ Taylor Young knocked down a game-winning 10-foot jumper with just five seconds on the clock to break the 48-48 tie.
St. Thomas improves to 20-6 on the year, moving on to play Concordia Saturday afternoon in the MIAC Playoff Championship. Gustavus finishes its season with a 17-10 record.
The game was a defense battle from the start, as the two squads went back-and-forth for the opening fifteen minutes. A three-pointer by Carolyn Dienhart knotted the game at 18-18 and sparked a 15-2 Tommie run to close the half. Gustavus went just 1-for-12 from the floor in the last eight minutes of the frame.
Kelsey Florian led Gustavus with eight points in the first have, as the Gusties shot 32.3-percent from the field. St. Thomas shot 42.9-percent, as Jazmin Townsend led the team with eight points.
St. Thomas took its largest lead of the game at 33-22 on a three pointer by Dienhart :44 seconds into the second half. Gustavus responded with a 7-0 run that cut the lead to 33-29 with just under fifteen minutes to play. Mathiowetz scored six points within the run, finishing the half with 16 points while going 4-for-5 from the field and 8-for-8 at the line.
Down nine points (46-37) with 5:35 on the clock, Gustavus used an 11-2 run to tie the game at 48-48. Mathiowetz was 6-for-6 at the charity stripe inside the run, as Ava Perry capped it off with a game-tying three pointer with 1:41 left to play. Following Young’s game winner, Molly Geske took the ball coast-to-coast, pulling up inside the arc for a jumper, but coming up just short on the game-tying attempt.
The Tommies gained a significant edge on the Gusties from three point range as they went 7-for-13 in the game, while Gustavus was just 1-for-9. St. Thomas finished the contest 18-for-47 (39.1%) from the field, while Gustavus was 17-for-52 (32.7%).
The Tommies were led by a balanced scoring attack from Taylor Young, Jazmin Townsend, and Sarah Smith. All three players scored a team-high 10 points, as Smith recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds.
Molly Mathiowetz led the Gusties with a game-high 22 points and eight boards. She went 7-for-13 from the field and 8-for-9 from the free throw line in her last game in a Gustavus uniform. The Gustavus record books will be graced with her name for years to come, as Mathiowetz has played in a total of 103 games, averaging 22.5 minutes per game, and shooting .499 (402-805) from the field over her career. The Sleepy Eye, Minn. native ranks ninth all-time in career scoring (1077 pts), third in free throws (271), eighth in rebounds (554), and fourth in steals (198).
Also scoring in double-digits for the Gusties was Kelsey Florian with 10 points. Gustavus’ leading scorer Molly Geske was shut down throughout the night, recording just two points and going 1-for-10 from the field.
Gustavus falls to 7-11 in MIAC post-season play with the loss. This was the 11th consecutive year that the Gustavus women’s basketball team has made it to the MIAC Playoffs.