Cold Shooting Plagues Women’s Basketball In 65-52 Loss To Bethel

Posted on January 21st, 2015 by

Hannah Howard drives the line in Gustavus's 65-52 loss to Bethel on Wednesday night. Howard led Gustavus with a double-double, scoring 15 points and adding 10 rebounds. Photo courtesy of CJ Siewert - Sport PiX.

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s basketball team suffered its first home loss of the season on Wednesday night with a 65-52 setback against Bethel University. Facing a stifling Bethel defense that limited good looks and cut off the interior throughout the night, the Gusties couldn’t come back from a nine point halftime deficit and shot a season-low 31.7-percent from the field.

“I never felt that we got into any rhythm tonight,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “The tempo was to their advantage and we weren’t able to consistently get good looks on the offensive end.”

Gustavus drops to 12-4 overall and 6-3 in the MIAC with the loss. Bethel wins its fourth straight and improves to 12-4 overall and 6-3 in the MIAC.

“The two aspects about tonight that stand out the most are the high quality shots they got compared to us and free throws,” Kelly stated. “This game came down to their ability to get to the free throw line, where they scored 23 points compared to our 11. The fact of the matter is that you have to come out ready to play each and every night in the MIAC. Tonight we didn’t have it and were handed a loss because of it.”

Gustavus finished the game 19-for-60 (31.7%) from the field, 3-for-10 (30%) from three-point range, and 11-for-14 (78.6%) from the free throw line. Bethel went 19-for-46 (41.3%) from the field, 4-for-8 (50%) from three, and 23-for-37 (62.2%) at the line. The Gusties lost the turnover battle 19-to-14, but had the edge on the glass 41-to-36.

Following a sluggish start that saw the home team trail 11-4 at the 16:48 mark, Gustavus went on a 10-2 scoring-run to go take the lead up 14-13 with 13:43 on the clock.

Bethel's Rachel Parupsky shut down the interior and posted eight of the team's 11 blocks.

Bethel’s Rachel Parupsky shut down the lane and posted eight of the team’s 11 blocks.

The two teams went back-and-forth over the next ten minutes before Gustavus was able to cut the lead to one (21-20) on a Hannah Howard (So., St. Paul, Minn.) layup with 6:36 on the clock.  Howard’s basket was Gustavus’s only points for an over six-minute time-span before Maddie Ehrich (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) hit a jumper with :22 seconds left to bring the halftime score to 29-22.

Gustavus struggled to find offensive rhythm and trailed by double-figures throughout the majority of the second half. Trailing by 18 points with 8:40 to play, the Gusties showed signs of life and used a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 51-43 with 5:27 on the clock. Gustavus could not cut the gap any further, as Bethel put an end to the run and pushed its lead back to 15 points (62-47) by the 2:36 mark.

“This team has had a will to win – especially in late game situations – so far this season,” said Kelly about her team’s second half performance. “I never felt like we had that fight in us tonight. We played deflated and never seemed to click on either side of the ball.”

Leading Gustavus in scoring was Hannah Howard who scored 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the floor and 5-of-6 at the line. Howard also posted a double-double with 10 rebounds.

“Hannah comes ready to fight game in and game out,” commented Kelly about her sophomore wing. “She has a drive and work ethic that is at the top of our team, and defense is something she takes the most pride in. Because of that she is able to grab 10 rebounds and will herself to 15 points. She’s been our most consistent player during the conference season, and that consistency is what we need to see from more players around her.”

Sydney Schultz and Kalli Zimmerman led Bethel with 19 and 12 points, respectively. Schultz went 6-for-11 from the field, while Zimmerman went 4-for-11.

“Although we did a good job limiting Rachel Parupsky and Kalli Zimmerman, which was our game plan heading in, we didn’t do a good job containing their guards,” Kelly stated about her team’s defensive effort. “They got a lot of good looks at high percentage shots and took advantage of us off the dribble. We simply couldn’t find a way to string stops together.”

The Gustavus women’s basketball team will look to get back on track Saturday, Jan. 23 when it travels to St. Paul to face St. Catherine at 3:00 p.m.

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