ST. PETER, MINN- After battling back and forth early in the first half the Gustavus women’s basketball team was unable to overcome one of the top offenses in the league, falling 79-52 to conference rival St. Thomas on Gus Young Court. Following Wednesday night’s loss the Gusties fall to 6-6 overall and 3-6 in MIAC play, while the Tommies improve to 11-2 overall and 9-1 in the MIAC.
“The one stat that sticks out the most is the fact that they had 30 points from behind the arc and we had three. If you take a step back, St. Thomas’ ability to knock down shots from the field, and especially from behind the arc, was the difference in this game. At times our shot selection was poor, which led to easy chances for them in transition,” Head Coach Laurie Kelly said.
Thirty of St. Thomas’s 79 points came from behind the arc, as the Tommies made ten of their 14 three-point shots. Sophomore Katie Stone led the scoring effort with 19 points, going 7-for-10 from the field and 5-for-7 from behind the arc. Senior Maggie Weirs, the top shooting post in the league, finished next in line with a total of 17 points, going 6-for-10 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
“We started to get tired and began to struggle offensively ten minutes in,” said Kelly. “Karina being in foul trouble hurt us on the inside, but Anna Lundquist came off the bench and gave us great minutes. That’s where our shooting drought started to begin, and that’s where they began to take advantage of our zone.”
After the 4:02 mark in the first half it was all St. Thomas for the rest of the night. Katie Stone made two shots from long-range to put the Tommies up 39-25 heading into the locker room.
Senior Rachelle Blaschko (Henderson, Minn.) made a layup to start off the second half, but the Tommies’ lead would not be erased. St. Thomas went on a scoring spree throughout the second half, earning a 34-point lead by the 7:05 mark.
Sophomore Karina Schroeder (Lake Crystal, Minn.) and senior Julia Dysthe (White Bear Lake, Minn.) were the leading scorers for the Gusties with ten points apiece. Schroeder went 4-for-8 from the field, and Dysthe went 4-for-15. The Gusties received 20 points from their bench with sophomore Anna Lundquist (Rochester, Minn.) leading the way with 10 points after going 2-for-5 from the field and 6-for-7 at the line. Morgan Iverson (Fy., Waconia, Minn.) scored five points (2-4 FG), and Hannah Howard (Fy., St. Paul, Minn.) added three (1-2 FG). First-year Anne Odegard (St. Paul, Minn.) recorded her first collegiate points, going 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.
“The bench play of Anna Lundquist and Hannah Howard was great tonight. We got 20 points from our bench and that’s great to see. We struggle when our seniors struggle and that was pretty apparent tonight. To be successful, we need our seniors to shoot better than they did tonight – that’s just the way it is,” Kelly said.
St. Thomas finished 28-for-51 (54.9%) from the field, 10-for-14 (71.4%) from behind the arch, and 13-for-20 (65%) at the line. Gustavus went 19-for-55 (34.5%), 1-for-9 (11.1%) from three, and 13-for-19 (68.4%) at the line. The Gusties were outrebounded 35-31, but it was Gustavus sophomore Lindsey Johnson (Edina, Minn.) who led all rebounders game-high eight boards, five of which were defensive.
“I thought we took care of the ball against pressure and rebounded well tonight,” Kelly concluded. “We played hard for 40 minutes and our effort was there from start-to-finish. We’ve had times this year where our opponent has gotten a lead on us and it has taken away from our focus and energy. We didn’t have that tonight and I thought the girls showed great effort for every minute they were on the floor.”
The Gustavus women’s basketball team will be back in action Saturday, Jan. 18 when it travels to Winona, Minn. to face Saint Mary’s University at 1:00 p.m.