Fast Start, Hot Shooting Propel Women’s Basketball To 83-49 Win Over Augsburg

Posted on January 7th, 2015 by

Hannah Howard's 19-point performance propelled the Gustavus women's basketball team to a run-away victory over Augsburg on Wednesday night.

Hannah Howard’s 19-point performance propelled the Gustavus women’s basketball team to a run-away victory over Augsburg on Wednesday night.

Minneapolis – The Gustavus women’s basketball team used a fast start and one of its most balanced offensive performances of the season to cruise to an 83-49 victory over Augsburg College on Wednesday night at Si Melby Hall. Led by a breakout scoring performance by Hannah Howard (So., St. Paul, Minn.) who scored a season/game-high 19 points, Gustavus shot a season-best 55.7-percent (34-61) from the floor en route to its sixth consecutive win. The Gusties improve to 10-2 overall and 4-1 in the MIAC, while Augsburg drops to 7-5 overall and 2-3 in the MIAC.

“We had a lot of balance in our scoring effort, with different players scoring in a lot of different ways,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “It was nice to see us click offensively, especially after a couple games where we struggled to find our rhythm. To shoot the ball as well as we did today is a great sign moving forward.”

Gustavus shot over 60-percent from the field in the first half and jumped out to 43-20 halftime lead because of it. The Gusties kept the pressure on and shot 50-percent in the second half, bringing their final clip to 55.7-percent.  It was the team’s best shooting performance since posting 52.8-percent games back-to-back against Minnesota Morris (Nov. 22) and Dubuque (Nov. 29).

“We played everybody on our bench and all but three scored,” Kelly said about her team’s depth and balance throughout the lineup. “It was fun to see us play solid team offense and work hard to get good looks. We had 26 assists tonight and our previous high this season was 19 – that goes to show how well our offense was clicking.”

Hannah Howard, whose previous high on the season was 12 against Hamline back on Dec. 13, went 7-for-8 from the field and 5-for-8 from the free throw line. Mikayla Miller (Fy., Goodhue, Minn.) finished next in line with 16 points after going 7-for-17 from the field. Lindsey Johnson (Jr., Edina, Minn.) also reached double-figures with 13 on 6-of-9 shooting.

“To go along with our balance, it was nice to see Hannah Howard break out with a big game,” Kelly added. “She played smart, let the game come to her, and converted. Her performance was proof of what good team basketball we played. It was as good of an offense performance than we have had this year. Because we were so balanced, it was difficult for Augsburg to key in on one or two individuals to stop.”

Augsburg turned the ball over 21 times and finished the game 34.6-percent from the field. The Auggies were led by Bridget Bednar and Abbey Luger who both scored 11 points.

“The other big stat that stands out for me is rebounding,” said Kelly. “Although we rebounded well early in the year, we took a step back in that department our last few times out. Augsburg is a good rebounding team, so for us to beat them on the glass by 20 boards with 17 coming on the offensive end was a huge factor tonight.”

Not only was tonight’s win the six in a row for the Gusties, it was also the team’s fourth straight victory on the road.  Coach Kelly said that her team’s ability to win on the road has been the boost of confidence her young team needs.

“It feels like a long time since we played and home, but this team is stepping up to the challenge of every road opponent during this stretch,” she continued. “I don’t care who you play, it’s hard to win at an opponent’s gym. It’s so important in MIAC play to steal wins on the road because that can be a major factor in the final playoff push. To win on the road for the fourth game in a row gives us a lot of confidence as we look to cap the road-stand against a Saint Mary’s team that had our number last year.”

The Gustavus women’s basketball team will close its five-game road-stand on Saturday, Jan. 10 when it travels to Winona to face the Cardinals at 1:00 p.m.

Box Score

 

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