Women’s Basketball Earns First Conference Win With 59-54 Victory Over Augsburg

Posted on December 5th, 2015 by

Mikayla Miller scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds in a 59-54 win over Augsburg on Saturday.

Mikayla Miller scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds in a 59-54 win over Augsburg on Saturday.

Gustavus 59, Augsburg 54 (Box)

MINNEAPOLIS – Playing in its third consecutive road contest, the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s basketball team picked up its first conference win of the season, earning a 59-54 victory over Augsburg College on Saturday afternoon at Si Melby Hall. The win moves Gustavus to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the MIAC, while Augsburg falls to 5-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference.

“This was a great win for us,” said Coach Laurie Kelly. “Anytime you win on the road in the MIAC is good, especially against such a veteran team like Augsburg. Like us, they lost a tough one in their league opener and were hungry for their first conference win, so we’re happy with the outcome, especially our defensive effort down the stretch.”

Neither team shot particularly well in the first half, leading to low scores after the first quarter and going into halftime. The Auggies, who shot 35.5 percent in the first half, led just 13-10 after 10 minutes of play, and went into halftime with a 27-20 advantage over the Gusties, who went 38 percent from the floor in the first. Gustie post Miranda Rice (So., Forest Lake, Minn.) led the visitors in scoring in the first half with eight points on 4-of-8 shooting and also came away with two steals.

“Miranda played really well and gave us an offensive presence inside, especially in the first half when we were struggling to finish,” said Kelly.

In the third quarter, Gustavus brought the Augsburg lead to just 33-31, thanks in large part to five points from Kelsey Carpenter (Jr., St. Peter, Minn.) in a 54 second stretch. However, the Auggies would bring that lead back to six with 4:33 to play, only to have the Gusties go on an 8-4 run to close the quarter to pull within two (41-39) going into the final 10 minutes of the game.

“We made some adjustments in the third quarter, which allowed us to go on a run and eventually get a lead,” said Kelly. “In the first half, shots just weren’t dropping for us, we weren’t able to finish, and had too many turnovers, and that’s what put us down at halftime. In the second half, I give credit to our team … we were able to settle down a bit, especially defensively, and ended up turning it into one of the best defensive games we’ve played all year. Our guards were also great on the boards … they took a lot of perimeter shots, so for them to also step up and get some key rebounds down the stretch was really important.”

A layup from Rice and jumper from Mikayla Miller (So., Goodhue, Minn.) to begin the fourth quarter gave Gustavus a two-point lead and it would never trail again. Justine Lee (Fy., Dawson, Minn.) and Lindsey Johnson (Sr., Edina, Minn.) each hit three-point shots in the first five minutes of the quarter to build the Gustie lead to nine with 4:23 to play. Augsburg then went on a 7-0 to bring Gustavus’s lead to just 53-51, but the Black and Gold went 6-of-10 from the free-throw line down the stretch and Augsburg was only able to muster three total shots in the final three minutes to key the 59-54 Gustie win.

“We got some balanced scoring from our starters, with each of them scoring eight or more points,” said Kelly. “It wasn’t pretty, but I think it was one of the best games we’ve played, especially on the defensive side, all year. We really needed this one, so it felt good to get it. We’ll enjoy it for a bit, but get back to work tomorrow for another tough league game on Wednesday.”

Miller and Rice led Gustavus in scoring with 16 and 13 points apiece, respectively. Carpenter and Hannah Howard (Jr., St. Paul, Minn.) pulled down six boards apiece, including five offensive for Howard. Augsburg was led by Allison McKee and Maria Loughlin who each tallied 14 points.

Gustavus returns to action on Wednesday with a key MIAC battle against Bethel University, its final conference opponent before Christmas break. That game takes place on Gus Young Court with tipoff slated for 7 p.m.

“Bethel has a lot of veteran leadership, with a strong backcourt and one of the best post players in the league in Rachel Parupsky,” concluded Kelly. “They’ll be a great test for us, and we’ll need to have some great days of practice to be ready.”

 

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