Women’s Basketball Comeback Effort Falls Short, Defeated 75-67 By No. 11 St. Thomas

Posted on February 3rd, 2016 by

Mikayla Miller keyed a Gustie rally that fell just short in Wednesday's loss to St. Thomas. (Photo courtesy of AJ Dahm, SPX Sports)

No. 11 St. Thomas 75, Gustavus 67 (Box) | Photo Gallery

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus College women’s basketball team was defeated 75-67 by the University of St. Thomas on Wednesday at Gus Young Court. The No. 11 Tommies held the lead for the entirety of the game, but the Gusties fought hard to bring their 12-point deficit to one in the final quarter. However, a 14-7 Tommie run in the final 3:25 along with key free-throw shooting widened their advantage to 13 points with 16 seconds to play, and the Gusties eventually suffered the eight-point defeat.

“Starting the game with consecutive turnovers and going down nine was what I thought really hurt us tonight,” said Coach Laurie Kelly. “However, I have to give our team credit for continuing to battle until the very end. They could have hung their heads at halftime and folded because of the good competition, but they didn’t and gained some good learning experience down the stretch because of that mentality. That being said, St. Thomas is too good a team to commit some of the silly mistakes that we did, and we just have to continue learning these next few weeks.”

Gustavus was led by sophomore Mikayla Miller (Goodhue, Minn.) and Justine Lee (Fy., Dawson, Minn.). Miller scored a team high 17 points on 7-of-18 shooting and brought down six rebounds, while Lee scored 13 on 4-of-8 shooting, including going 3-for-5 from long range.

St. Thomas opened the game with a 9-0 run in the first 3:46, until a three-pointer from Lee brought the score to 9-3. Gustavus then narrowed its deficit to four after a layup from Stephanie Klockmann (So, Brownton, Minn.), which brought the score to 16-12 with 54 seconds left in the quarter. Gustavus closed the period on a 7-2 run and went into the second down 19-12.

The Tommies controlled the second quarter, widening their advantage to 12 points on two separate occasions. Although Gustavus was able to bring that deficit back to eight with just one second left in the half, the Tommies got a circus shot to go at the halftime buzzer, bringing their lead back to 10 (37-27) going into the half.

The Gusties made a comeback in the third quarter, going on a 6-0 run from the 8:18 to 6:53 mark, which narrowed their deficit to three (45-42). Gustavus continued to build on that momentum and cut the Tommie lead to two at the 7:16 mark and went into the final quarter trailing St. Thomas by just four (55-51).

“The key to the second half was our defense,” said Kelly. “That allowed us opportunities to score in transition and really helped change the momentum of the game. We also had fewer turnovers, which continues to be a goal for us in every practice and every game.”

Gustavus started the fourth quarter strong as well, with three free-throws from Kelsey Carpenter (Jr., St. Peter, Minn.) bringing the score to 57-56 at the 8:17 mark and continued to trail the Tommies by just one until the 4:31 mark. However, a 14-7 Tommie run in the final 3:25 gave St. Thomas the eight-point win.

“Again, credit has to be given to St. Thomas,” said Kelly. “They’re so good in late clock situations, made some great plays tonight, and make you pay for mistakes. I think we’re right there with them though, and are so close to where we want to be overall. These next two weeks will be fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing us continue to gel as a unit.”

The Gusties shot 42.1 percent from the floor (24-57), including going 13-of-17 from the charity stripe and 6-for-19 from long range. The Black and Gold out-rebounded the Tommies 33-32 and committed 15 turnovers compared to St. Thomas’ 14. Gustavus’ bench continued to provide scoring punch, as it scored 23 of the team’s 67 total points.

Gustavus continues a stretch of tough competition on Saturday when it travels to Moorhead for a matchup with Concordia College. The Cobbers are currently third in the MIAC with a 10-3 conference record. Tipoff at Memorial Auditorium is set for 3 p.m.

 

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