Offense Clicks, Women’s Basketball Defeats Minnesota Morris 82-67

Posted on November 22nd, 2014 by

Lindsey Johnson scored 21 points in Gustavus's 82-67 victory over Minnesota Morris on Saturday afternoon at Gus Young Court.

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s basketball team started out hot and never looked back on its way to an 82-67 victory the University of Minnesota, Morris on Saturday afternoon at Gus Young Court. Gustavus turned in its best shooting performance of the season as four players finished in double-figures. With the win, Gustavus improves to 3-0 overall, while Minnesota Morris drops to 1-3.

“Every opponent we’ve played has continued to challenge us more so this is a good win for us, “said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “It was nice to see us begin to click offensively. For the majority of the game we did a nice job controlling and dictating the tempo through out offense. That’s something we haven’t been able to do so that was a big step forward for us.”

The Gusties shot over 50-percent in both the first and second half to conclude the game a season-best 52.8-percent (23-53) from the field. Gustavus also shot 45.5-percent (5-11) from three-point range and continued to cash in at the free throw line with an 84-percent (21-25) performance.

Gustavus jumped all over the Cougars from the opening tip, scoring 12 of the game’s first 14 points to go up 12-2 with 14:08 remaining in the first half. The Cougars made a pair of small runs to bring the score within four points (12-8) at the 13:14 mark and then five points (23-18) later at the 7:54 mark. Gustavus responded to Minnesota Morris’s run with a 9-0 spree of its own to build a 14-point advantage up 32-18 with 6:16 left in the half. The Gusties held on to the double-digit advantage for the remainder of the frame and went into the locker room with a 42-28 lead.

Gustavus shot 50-percent in the opening 20 minutes compared to Minnesota Morris who shot 37.9-percent. By halftime, Mikayla Miller (Fy., Goodhue, Minn.) was the leading scorer with 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting.

The Gusties extended their lead to 19 points (50-31) by 17:16 of the second half. The only threat to the lead came when the Cougars used a 12-2 run to cut Gustavus’s lead to 52-43 with 14:23 left in the game.

“Despite our increased offensive performance, I thought that our defense struggled – especially in transition,” said Kelly. “We had some breakdowns in our defensive assignments, but I told the team after the game that this is an opportunity to not only build on what we did offensively, but also to look at what we need to improve on defensively. Our goal next week in practice is not work on not only control the tempo from the offensive end, but also from the defensive end.”

Kelsey Carpenter led Gustavus's bench in scoring with 15 points.

Kelsey Carpenter led Gustavus’s bench in scoring with 15 points, cashing in on all eight of her free throws.

Gustavus responded to Minnesota Morris’s scoring-spree with one of its own throughout the heart of the half. Thanks to a 14-2 run that was capped off by a Lindsey Johnson (Jr., Edina, Minn.) jumper at the 9:38 mark, the Gusties found themselves in complete control up 21 points (66-45). The Black and Gold did not allow the Cougars to come within single digits from that point on, cruising to the 15-point victory.

Leading the Gusties and their 56-percent shooting performance in the second half was Lindsey Johnson who went 6-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 at the free throw line for 14 points. Johnson led all scorers in the game with 21 points after going 8-for-9 from the floor, knocking down her only three-point try, and making all four of her free throws.

“Our offensive patience allowed Lindsey to get open and knock down shots,” said Kelly about Johnson’s breakout scoring performance. “She’s a great jump-shooter and we were able to get her the ball coming off screens and down on the blocks where she is the best.”

Finishing next in line for Gustavus was Mikayla Miller who scored 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor. The Gusties also benefitted from an increase in bench-scoring, which was led by rookies Kelsey Carpenter (St. Peter, Minn.) and Siri Sviggum (Dennison, Minn.). Carpenter scored 15 points after going 3-for-4 from the field, 1-for-2 from three, and 8-for-8 at the line, and Sviggum added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from three.

“We have a very young team and play a lot of young players,” Kelly commented about the team’s depth. “This is going to be a bumpy road at times because they are learning, settling in, and becoming more comfortable in their surroundings. Today, we could see them begin to settle in and were able to go deep into our bench with nine players playing double-figure minutes. That depth allows players like Kelsey Carpenter and Siri Sviggum to step in and make an impact when their time is called.”

Minnesota Morris finished with five players in double-figures with Kendra Wycoff leading the way with 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field and a 4-for-9 showing from behind the arc.

“It’s good to finish the homestand with a win,” Kelly stated. “Our goal is the get better every game and there is no doubt that we were better today than we were in the opening weekend. We look ahead to the upcoming weekend as a great challenge against a strong Dubuque team that is very veteran and picked to finish at the top of its league. We needed this type of confidence boost as we take a young team on the road for the first time. Yes, we have some things to work on, but we feel good about the win and are excited for a short break before heading on the road next weekend.”

The Gustavus women’s basketball team will be back on the hardwood next weekend when it travels to Menomonie, Wisconsin to take part in the UW-Stout Thanksgiving Tournament. Gustavus will open the weekend with a 1:00 p.m. game against the University of Dubuque on Saturday, Nov. 22.

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