In a hard-fought and tightly contested match, the Gustavus women’s basketball team fell in its season opener to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls 50-43 Tuesday night in River Falls, Wis. The Gusties had trouble accumulating points off turnovers and couldn’t find their rhythm from behind the arc, starting the season 0-1, while UW-River Falls kicks off its season 1-0.
Turnovers were an issue for both teams as the Falcons committed 31 and the Gusties 22, but both had trouble converting the opportunities into points. Gustavus scored 19 points off turnovers and River Falls scored 18. It was more of the same in regard to three-pointers; Julia Dysthe put in the only three-point field goal on 18 team attempts (5.6-percent) for the Gusties, while the Falcons shot 18.2-percent (2-11) from behind the arc.
UW-River Falls jumped out to a four-point lead (8-4) in the fifth minute to start the game, but the Gusties responded with seven unanswered points over the next minute, including the lone three-pointer by Dysthe, to lead 11-8. The lead didn’t last long, though, as the Falcons countered with a three-pointer from Tiffany Gregorich to tie the game and would go on to maintain the lead throughout the first half, leading by as much as seven points.
The Gusties closed the gap to one point with :40 remaining in the first half and went into the locker room down 25-24.
River Falls didn’t trail from the 14:30 mark in the first to the 7:43 mark in the second when Molly Geske buried a jumper, giving the Gusties a 39-38 lead. Gustavus would lead for only 1:43 as the Falcons jumped back in front (41-40) with six minutes remaining and would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the contest, claiming the 50-43 victory.
Kelsey Florian led the Gusties with 11 points off the bench, shooting 3-for-9 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free throw line. Geske also provided double-digit figures with 10 points, converting 5-of-16 field goal attempts.
Gregorich accounted for 34-percent of the Falcons offense, scoring 17 points. And Maranda Dohrn controlled the boards with a game-high 18 rebounds.
The Gusties have a 10-day break until their next game when they travel to California over Thanksgiving break. The Black and Gold will take on Occidental College in Los Angeles on Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. and the University of Redlands on Nov. 26 in Redlands at 7:00 p.m.