The Gustavus women’s basketball held its annual awards banquet last week in the Heritage Room of the Jackson Student Center. Senior wing Molly Geske highlighted the event’s awards ceremony by being named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Geske, a Mendota Heights, Minn. native, garnered her third MIAC All-Conference selection after leading the Gusties in points (373, 13.8 per game), field goals made (141-313, .450), three-point field goals made (34-95, .358), and free throw percentage (.803). The Cretin-Derham Hall product led the team in scoring 13 times this season, including a season-high 25 points against Concordia on Jan. 16. In her four seasons wearing the black and gold, the Mendota Heights, Minn. native has put together an incredible career. Geske ranks in the top six in as many Gustavus all-time statistical categories. She ranks sixth in field goals made (502-1148, .437), tied for fifth in steals (198) and fourth in games played (106), is fourth in free throws made (267-311, .859) and is third on the all-time list in three-point field goals made (139-361, .385). Perhaps most notably, Geske’s 1,410 career points (13.3 per game) ranks third all-time. Molly was also recognized on the national level as a member of the Capital One Academic All-America Second Team.
Senior guard Colleen Ruane was named the squad’s Best Defensive Player after achieving MIAC All-Defensive Team honors for the second consecutive season. The Edina, Minn. native set the program record for most steals in a season with 83. She posted five or more takeaways six times this season, including a career-high seven steals against Saint Benedict on Jan. 11. She amassed 208 steals in her career, which ranks third in program history. Ruane finished with career-highs in points (226, 8.4 per game), field goals made (93-202, .460), rebounds (69) and blocks (6). Ruane also became the 16th player in program history to play in 100 career games.
A new addition to the starting lineup this past season was junior forward Abby Rothenbuehler. Her ability to step in and make an immediate impact on the floor awarded her with the team’s Most Improved Player recognition. Rothenbuehler finished the season as one of two Gusties to average double digits (10.0 points per game). The North Mankato, Minn. native led the team in rebounds with 211 (7.8 per game), which also topped the MIAC. Rothenbuehler posted a team-high five double-doubles this year. On Feb. 8, she tallied a career-high 23 points, including a perfect 4-for-4 showing from behind the arc. Abby finished the season with a 44.1-percent (15-34) rate from three-point range, ranking second on the team and led the squad with 25 blocks.
The final two awards recognized the individuals who displayed the best leadership and work ethic throughout the year. Senior captain Liz Shay was honored with the team’s Gustie Spirit Award for her undeniable leadership in practice, in the locker room and on game day. Shay played in 24-of-27 games this year collecting 16 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds and five steals. Junior Jess Richert was named as the team’s Practice Player of the Year. The Freeburg, Ill. native only played in eight games this season but always brought a starter’s mentality to each practice, driving her and others to be better.
Captains for the 2012-13 season were also announced. Three of next year’s seniors – Kelsey Florian, Rothenbuehler and Whitney Novak – will lead the Gusties in Head Coach Laurie Kelly’s first season at the helm. Florian was consistently Gustavus’ best player off the bench and was honored as the MIAC’s Sixth Player-of-the-Year for her efforts. Florian’s strong suit was her ability to reach the free throw line. The Roseville, Minn. native led the team in attempts for the charity stripe, converting 89-of-112 attempts (.795). Florian averaged 19.7 minutes off the bench and finished the season with 220 points (8.5 per game), 93 rebounds (3.6 per game), 30 assists and 25 steals. Kelsey led the team in scoring four times this season and paced the squad in rebounding once. She was also named Female Student-Athlete of the Month for December. Joining Florian as a captain will be Novak, a Woodbury, Minn. native, who appeared in 15 games this season.
Gustavus ended its season with a loss to 11th-ranked St. Thomas in the MIAC Playoff Championship. The Gusties finished with a 20-6 overall record and 17-6 mark in the MIAC. The 20-win season for the Black and Gold marked the sixth time in program history to reach the 20-win plateau.