St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season 70-47 to Concordia College on Saturday afternoon at Gus Young Court. The Cobbers took control in the final five minutes of the first half with a 10-5 scoring-run that put them up 33-25 at the break. The Gusties couldn’t recover from the deficit and were outscored by 25 points in the second half.
Gustavus drops to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the MIAC with the loss, while Concordia improves to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the MIAC with the victory.
“Concordia started to play a lot harder in the final five minutes of the first half and we were never quite able to respond to that increased intensity,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “When you are playing a top team like Concordia, you have to realize that they are going to capitalize on mistakes. This was our first real test against a team of top-of-the-league caliber and Concordia was able was able to hit shots, come up with big rebounds, and create turnovers when it had to.”
The two squads went back-and-forth for much of the opening minutes of the first half. Concordia took a 12-9 lead at the 12:59 mark, and Gustavus responded with a 7-2 run to go up 16-14 with 9:28 left.
The Gusties held on to the lead until the 5:41 mark when a free throw by Cobber Kelsey Walloch tied the game at 20-20. Ericka Jossart then came up with a steal and knocked down a three-pointer on the next possession to give the Cobbers a 23-20 advantage with 5:03 on the clock. From that point on it was all Concordia as the visitors did not let the Gusties bring the score to within six for the remainder of the contest.
“The Cobbers are deep at guard and we didn’t have a great showing by our guards to counter them,” commented Kelly. “It is key for the team that our three seniors come out and perform game-in and game-out – unfortunately we didn’t have that today.”
Concordia outshot Gustavus 44-to-26-percent and forced 11 turnovers in the second half. Karina Schroeder (So., Lake Crystal, Minn.) scored all of her team-high 10 points in the second half after going 3-for-8 from the field and 4-for-4 at the line.
The Cobber defense shut down Gustavus’s primary scorers from the start. The team’s leading scorer heading into the game, Britta Rinke (Sr., Waconia, Minn.), was held to eight points after going 4-for-9 from the floor, and Julia Dysthe (Sr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) scored seven points on 3-of-12 shooting. Anna Lundquist (So., Rochester, Minn.) finished behind Schroeder with nine points (3-6) to go along with a team-high nine rebounds.
“When two of your top scorers [Dysthe and Schroeder] go a combined 6-for-24, it is going to be tough for your team to win,” Kelly said. “Britta Rinke has played good basketball as of late and provided our offense with another scoring threat, but in a game like this you need more than one player providing the scoring.”
Gustavus finished the game 17-for-55 (30.9%) from the field, 2-for-8 (25%) from three-point range, and 11-for-16 (68.8%) at the line.
Concordia controlled the glass 45-to-34 and won the turnover battle with 17 compared to Gustavus’s 20. The Cobbers shot 38.2-percent (21-55) from the field, 46.2-percent (6-13) from three, and 75.9-percent (22-29) at the line. Leading the way for Concordia was Alley Fisher with 12 points, while Alexandra Lippert scored 11, and Olivia Johnson added 10.
“This is somewhat of a wakeup call for this team,” said Kelly. “We have to come back to practice next week and get better as we prepare for the final two games before the holiday break. For us to be successful as we move ahead, we need to play better team basketball. Playing together as a team will lead to better individual performances and that’s how we’re going to improve.”
The Gustavus women’s basketball team will be back on the hardwood Wednesday, Dec. 11 when it takes on Saint Ben’s at 7:30 p.m. at Gus Young Court.