Morris, Minn. – In its second game of the year and first contest on the road, the Gustavus Adolphus women’s basketball team used another fast start to run away with a non-conference victory. The Gusties cruised to a 70-38 win over the University of Minnesota Morris on Saturday afternoon on Jim Gremmels Court, helping them improve to 2-0 on the year. Minnesota Morris suffers its first defeat of the year and is now 1-1.
“We’ve done a very good job of starting each of our first two games,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “We’ve dictated play, shot well, and played tough defense through the opening 10 minutes. Another fast start today helped us jump out to a big lead and that is always good to see on the road.”
The Gusties shot out of the gates and opened up a double-digit lead after just five minutes. A free throw by Maja Coomes was Minnesota Morris’s only point of the opening seven minutes, and by the 13:01 mark, Gustavus had built an 18-1 advantage.
The Cougars cut the lead to 13 points (20-7) at the 10:19 mark, but Gustavus responded by going on an 11-2 scoring run to lead by 22 (31-9) with 6:01 remaining in the opening half.
After a free throw by Rachelle Blaschko (Sr., Henderson, Minn.) put the Gusties up 36-13 with 3:07 on the clock, Minnesota Morris used an 8-0 run to cut the margin to 15 (36-21) at the break.
“Even though we built a big lead early, I thought we went into coast mode later in the half and took our foot off the pedal,” addressed Kelly. “We had a lot of turnovers and gave up too many offensive rebounds, so by now means was it a perfect half. With that said, I was happy with the way we started and it was good to have a lead after a three hour bus trip.”
Sophomore post Karina Schroeder (Lake Crystal, Minn.) took over in the first half, going 5-for-5 from the floor and 2-for-2 at the line for 12 points. Schroeder missed just two shots all game and finished with a game-high 22 points. She went 7-for-9 from the field, was a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line, and brought down a game-high 13 rebounds (8 defensive) to accomplish her first double-double of the year.
“I don’t know if she has any idea how good she can be,” Kelly said about Schroeder. “I call her Spiderman for a reason – she has great hands and is able to catch any pass thrown in her direction. Karina is also consistently proving that she has the ability to finish under contact. She’s going to have to have big games for us and tonight was a great example of what she is capable of.”
The Gusties outscored the Cougars 13-5 in the opening seven minutes of the second half and found themselves in control with a 49-26 lead. Minnesota Morris could not recover from the fast second half start, and the Gusties never looked back.
Gustavus cooled down in the second half and shot 33.3-percent compared to its 59.1-percent shooting performance in the opening 20 minutes. The Black and gold finished 23-for-52 (44.2%) from the field, 3-for-13 from three-point range (23.1%), and 21-for-30 (70%) at the free throw line.
Laurie Kelly said that one of the biggest question marks of her team heading into the season was how they were going to score. “We’ve taken some high percentage shots and have been able to hit them. That’s a major plus for this team early on this season,” Kelly said.
Right behind Schroeder amongst the game’s scoring leaders was Julia Dysthe (Sr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) and Britta Rinke (Sr., Waconia, Minn.). Dysthe scored 20 points after going 7-for-15 from the field and 6-for-7 at the line. Rinke scored 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field, which included knocking down 2-of-3 three-point attempts.
Minnesota Morris shot 29.2-percent (14-48) from the field, 20-percent (3-15) from three, and 46.7-percent (7-15) at the line.
The Gusties out-rebounded the Cougars 41-34 and won the turnover battle 35-25.
“We did a good job sticking to our game plan and taking away what our opponent wanted to do,” said Kelly about her team’s defensive performance. “We kept their top rebounders off the glass and limited their top scorers to single digits. Overall, we put together a good defensive showing as a team.”
The Gustavus women’s basketball team will have a week to prepare for its next non-conference showdown coming up on Saturday, Nov. 30 when it hosts the University of Northwestern at Gus Young Court at 3:00 p.m.