St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s basketball team snapped its three-game losing-streak with a 70-55 victory over Macalester College on Monday night at Gus Young Court. Gustavus jumped out to a 36-19 halftime lead and didn’t look back, shooting 50-percent from the field and finishing with a balanced scoring attack that featured four players in double-figures.
Gustavus improves to 13-8 overall and 12-6 in the MIAC with the win, while Macalester drops to 4-17 overall and 3-15 in the MIAC with the loss.
“I liked the way we came out tonight,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “We got out to an early lead and that allowed us to rest some legs and get some other players minutes. Although they haven’t won a lot of games, Macalester is a well-coached team that plays extremely hard from start to finish. I’m happy that we are back in the win column and look forward to what is a very important week.”
The Gusties went to work on the blocks early, scoring 12 points in the paint within the opening 10 minutes and taking a 21-9 lead by the 11:54 mark. Gustavus then used a 12-1 scoring run to take its largest lead of the half at 23 points (33-10) by the 4:19 mark.
Macalester would take some of the momentum back at the end of the half, as the two teams headed to their locker rooms with the score 36-19 in favor of Gustavus. The Gusties shot 48.1-percent compared to Macalester’s 22.2-percent in the opening half.
Although the Gusties were outscored 36-34 in the second half, they would lead by as many as 27 points (64-37) by the 8:53 mark. Abby Rothenbuehler (Sr., North Mankato, Minn.) scored a team-high eight points in the second half. She would lead the way with a game-high 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting by the final buzzer.
Coach Kelly was pleased with her squad’s ability to hold the early lead, allowing for her to go the bench early in the second half. “Games like this don’t only allow you to rest your horses, but they also give your less experienced players an opportunity to see valuable court time. For me as a coach, it’s a great opportunity to evaluate those players in game situations because you don’t get that chance a lot.”
Alongside Rothenbuehler in double-figures was Julia Dysthe (Jr., White Bear Lake, Minn.), Kelsey Florian (Sr., Roseville, Minn.), and Karina Schroeder (Fy., Lake Crystal, Minn.). Dysthe and Florian both had 14 points with Dysthe going 6-for-12 from the field, and Florian going a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor, 2-for-2 from three-point range, and 4-for-4 at the free throw line. Schroeder rounded out the group with 11 points on a 4-for-5 night.
As a team, Gustavus finished 27-for-54 (50%) from the field, 5-for-11 (45.5%) from three, and 11-for-15 (73.3%) at the line. The Gusties had a slight rebounding advantage at 34-33 yet lost the turnover battle 16-15.
Leading Macalester in scoring was Kyanna Jones who scored 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting. After shooting a much improved 46.4-percent from the field in the second half, the Scots finished the game 19-for-55 (34.5%).
“It’s down to crunch time for us with two weeks left in the regular season,” stated Kelly about the team’s state as it begins its final three game week of the regular season. “We have been in some close battles and suffered some tough losses but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we feel that we can beat anybody on any given night. Our goal is to go into the MIAC tournament playing our best basketball and to do that we need to take one game at a time from here on out.”
The Gustavus women’s basketball team will be in action on Wednesday night in a road test against the University of St. Thomas set for 7:30 p.m. in St. Paul. The Gusties fell to St. Thomas 65-43 in their first meeting back on Jan. 9.