Women’s Basketball Suffers First Loss Of Season In 76-61 Defeat To UW-River Falls

Posted on November 21st, 2015 by

Stephanie Klockmann goes up for a layup in Saturday's game vs. UW-River Falls. (Photo courtesy of Roisen Granlund '17)

UW-River Falls 76, Gustavus 61 (Box)

ST. PETER, Minn. – After opening its season with two straight victories, the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s basketball team suffered its first loss on Saturday when it fell 76-61 to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls on Gus Young Court. The loss drops the Gusties to 2-1 on the season, while UW-River Falls stays perfect at 4-0 in 2015.

“UW-River Falls has a lot of good returners back from last season and has a very good team,” said Coach Laurie Kelly. “I thought they were the better team today … when we played them at their place last year we stole one in overtime, so I knew they would be ready. They hustled more than us and seemed to be one step ahead the entire time. I thought we seemed flat for much of the first half and never seemed to be able to get into a flow over the course of the game. When we’d go on a run in one area, we seemed to have a breakdown in another. The effort was there, but we just weren’t able to get in rhythm at any point, so credit to River Falls for their great play.”

Gustavus only led for 13 seconds of the game, and that was thanks to a Justine Lee (Fy., Dawson, Minn.) three-pointer just 43 seconds into the first quarter. From there, it was all Falcons, as they quickly took a nine-point lead by the 3:33 mark of the first quarter. However, the Gusties fought hard and kept the game within reach, trailing the visitors by only one with 49 seconds remaining in the first half, and went into halftime down 31-28.

“We just need to get out of the gates and that’s a huge focus for us right now,” said Kelly. “We may need to change our lineup, or change our offensive or defensive approach, but I think it again goes back to our youth and lack of experience.”

UW-River Falls began to pull away midway through the third quarter, taking an 11-point lead with 3:14 remaining. The Falcons maintained that lead going into the fourth and despite a late push from Gustavus, was able to convert on two key three-pointers in the final five minutes that sucked any life out of the Gusties that remained.

“It was a lot of little things that we couldn’t convert on today, such as the bunny shots or free-throw shooting, and we couldn’t seem to click as one unit,” said Kelly. “Defensively is where we struggled the most, as I thought we gave up too many uncontested shots and they were really able to attack us off the dribble. We still have a lot to learn … we know we’re going to have growing pains, and this was a perfect example of the type of team we’re going to see consistently in MIAC play, so it was a good experience for us. Our team is learning, and is sort of being thrown to the wolves a little bit at this point. We need to break down the film a bit, roll up our sleeves, and go back and have some strong practices before our game on Tuesday.”

Gustavus shot 38.2 percent from the floor, including a 35 percent mark from downtown, but only converted on 60 percent of its free-throw attempts. The Gusties also struggled to maintain possession, as they reached the 20-turnover mark for the third game in a row. UW-River Falls tallied 11 turnovers.

Lindsey Johnson (Sr., Edina, Minn.) paced the Black and Gold offensively, scoring 15 points off 4-of-8 shooting, including going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line and adding six rebounds. Mikayla Miller (So., Goodhue, Minn.) was next with 13 points and six rebounds, and Hannah Howard (Jr., St. Paul, Minn.) added nine points and nine rebounds, with seven of those boards coming on the offensive end.

“We only have 120 minutes under our belts and I’m happy with this team,” concluded Kelly. “We have a ton of potential and we scheduled a tough non-conference slate to challenge ourselves so we’re ready for conference play when it arrives on December 2.”

 

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