Women’s Basketball Defeats St. Olaf 66-58

Posted on February 7th, 2015 by

Lindsey Johnson scored a team-high 20 points in Gustavus's win over St. Olaf on Saturday afternoon.

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s basketball team moved one step closer to securing a spot in the MIAC Playoffs with a 66-58 victory over St. Olaf College on Saturday afternoon at Gus Young Court. Led by the scoring efforts of Mikayla Miller (Fy., Goodhue, Minn.) and Lindsey Johnson (Jr., Edina, Minn.) who combined for 36 points, the Gusties shot over 50-percent from the field against one of the league’s top zone defenses.

“St. Olaf is a team that plays so much different from anyone else in the league,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “We did not play well and struggled to get quality shots at their place early in January, so this was a game we needed to come out and execute our game plan in. Our focus heading into today’s game was on getting better looks, and I thought we did that this afternoon. We shot well today and that’s what needed to happen if we were going to pull out a victory.”

With the win, Gustavus wins its second straight game and is now 15-6 overall and 9-5 in the MIAC. St. Olaf drops to 9-12 overall and 6-8 in the MIAC with the loss.

Gustavus wasted no time out of the gates and grabbed an 11-3 lead on an offensive rebound and put-back layup by Stephanie Klockman (Fy., Brownton, Minn.) with 15:15 on the clock. St. Olaf chipped away at the lead and eventually cut the gap to four points (21-17) with 9:09 on the clock.

With Gustavus on top 28-21 with 6:19 left in the half, St. Olaf used a 7-2 scoring-swing to bring the score within two points down 30-28 with 1:44 remaining.  Miller knocked down a three-pointer with :47 seconds left to bring the score to 33-28, yet St. Olaf’s Kari Keogh responded with a triple on the ensuing possession to bring the halftime score to 33-31 in favor of the Black and Gold.

Turnovers played a key factor in the opening 20 minutes as the Oles committed 12 compared to the Gusties’ three. Gustavus shot 50-percent from the field and was led in scoring by Lindsey Johnson who scored 10 points after going 4-6 from the field with two triples. St. Olaf shot 59.1-percent and controlled the glass 16-to-7.

Much like the opening half, Gustavus got off to a fast start and held on to the lead for remainder of the frame. After Afton Wolter gave the Oles their first lead of the game up 37-35 with 18:22 on the clock, Gustavus went on a 9-0 run to take a 46-37 advantage following four-minute time-span.

Maddie Ehrich pulls up for a jumper in front of Molly Riedel.

Maddie Ehrich pulls up for a jumper in front of Molly Riedel.

The early scoring run turned out to be the difference as Gustavus held on to a comfortable advantage for the majority of the remaining minutes. The Oles did however make a late charge and brought the game to within four points down 60-56 with 1:56 left to play. The Gusties responded with a 6-2 run to cap the afternoon and bring the score to a final at 66-58.

“We were patient on offense, particularly in the last eight minutes of the game,” Kelly said about her team’s second half performance. “Our clock management was great down the stretch and we were able to knock down some key shots in big moments.”

With ten more points on 3-of-7 shooting in the second half, Lindsey Johnson finished with 20 to lead all scorers. Johnson went 7-for-13 from the floor, 4-for-7 from three, and hit both of her free tosses in the game. Mikayla Miller finished behind her junior captain with 16 points after going 6-for-13 from the field and 4-for-8 from three. Miranda Rice (Fy., Dennison, Minn.) also reached double-digits with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting.

“Lindsey Johnson was great today and put together another solid offensive game,” Kelly said. “She is such a great shooter and was a huge factor against their zone. When she’s able to square up and set her feet, she’s a proven zone-buster. That’s what we needed from her and that’s what she did today.”

As a team, Gustavus finished 25-for-51 (51%) from the field, 8-for-18 (44.4%) from three, and 6-for-7 (85.7%) at the line. Ball control, patience, and the ability to limit turnovers were key factors in the win for Laurie Kelly. The Gusties forced 21 turnovers and committed a season-low seven of their own.

“The biggest stat for me today was turnovers.  We won that battle 21-7 after turning the ball over three times in the first half and four times in the second,” she said. “St. Olaf allowed an average of 58 points coming into today’s game, so for us to put up 66 and show good balance in each half says a lot about our preparation and execution.”

St. Olaf went 20-for-37 (54.1%) from the field, 11-for-22 (505%) from three, and 7-for-15 (46.7%) at the line. Afton Wolter led the Oles with 15 points, followed by Besey Daly with 14, and Lauren Gutierrez with 10.

“We are playing with a lot confidence right now,” said Kelly about the state of her team as the regular season winds to an end. “With today’s win, we feel that we are in the driver’s seat heading into the backstretch. Three of our last four games of the regular season are at home and we now have an opportunity to create our own path. We have a home playoff game in our sights and that’s the focus from here on out.”

The Gustavus women’s basketball team will be back on the hardwood Wednesday, Feb. 11 when it travels to Moorhead for a 5:45 p.m. game against Concordia College.

Box Score

 

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