Women’s Basketball Clinches Playoff Berth With 77-40 Victory Over St. Olaf

Posted on February 10th, 2016 by

Lindsey Johnson scored a team high 19 points in her return to the starting lineup on Wednesday.

Gustavus 77, St. Olaf 44 (Box) | Photo Gallery

ST. PETER, Minn. – After leading by six going into halftime, the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s basketball team more than sextupled that lead by game’s end and came away with a 77-40 victory over St. Olaf College on Wednesday evening at Gus Young Court. The win clinches the Gusties a spot in the six-team MIAC Playoffs that begin Feb. 23 and moves them to 11-4 in the conference and 16-6 overall. With the loss, the Oles fall to 7-8 in the league and 12-10 overall.

Three-point and free-throw shooting were both key for the Gusties, as they shot 9-of-20 from long range and 20-of-21 from the free-throw line, one game after going 14-for-31 from the charity stripe at Concordia. The shooting was especially impressive due to St. Olaf being the top statistical defensive team in the MIAC.

“St. Olaf is a great defensive team and their matchup zone causes a lot of problems,” said Coach Laurie Kelly. “For us to be able to get stops and then push the ball in transition was key. We also hit a lot of perimeter shots and got those shots from several different individuals, which I think extended their zone. We did a nice job defensively…we worked a lot on taking away the high-low during practice this past week and we did that well tonight. St. Olaf also rarely turns the ball over, so to force 16 turnovers was a great accomplishment for us as well. I’m proud of the team for their effort and for keeping their foot on the gas pedal.”

Kelsey Carpenter was one of six Gusties to score from beyond the arc on Wednesday.

Kelsey Carpenter was one of six Gusties to score from beyond the arc on Wednesday.

Gustavus never trailed in the game, but after taking an early 7-2 lead, St. Olaf tied the game at seven and went into the first intermission down just 13-10 to the Gusties. The second quarter continued to be a tight affair, with Gustavus taking a nine-point advantage midway through, but St. Olaf fighting back to within one with 1:43 to play in the half. However, a Miranda Rice (So., Forest Lake, Minn.) layup and Lindsey Johnson (Sr. Edina, Minn.) three-pointer in those final minutes allowed the Gusties to take a six-point, 31-25 lead into the half.

In the third quarter, Gustavus came out with renewed energy and went on a 12-2 run to begin the half, eventually building its lead to 18 at 52-34 going into the final 10 minutes. In the fourth quarter, three-point shooting took over, with Johnson and Mikayla Miller (So., Goodhue, Minn.) draining three combined triples within the first two minutes of the frame to go along with earlier long-rangers from Kelsey Carpenter (Jr., St. Peter, Minn.), Brooke Lemke (Fy., Delano, Minn.), Kendall Thompson (Fy., Eden Prairie, Minn.), and Justine Lee (Fy., Dawson, Minn.). By game’s end, Gustavus led by 37 after playing each of its 18 players and seeing 12 of those individuals score.

Gustavus won the rebounding battle handily, grabbing 42 boards (13 offensive) compared to the Oles’ 26, and also scored 19 second chance points. Overall, the Black and Gold shot 42.9 percent from the floor, compared to St. Olaf’s 27.7 percent.

“We did a nice job on the glass, especially on the offensive side,” said Kelly. “When we’re not shooting the ball well, our ability to crash the offensive glass continues to give us extra opportunities. Our team is playing well and it’s a great time to be playing well with just three games to go before playoffs. It was also great to have Lindsey back in the starting lineup…when she’s healthy like she is now, she is a huge factor for us, and we’re happy to have her back in there. Another key continues to be our depth, as we’re able to go 12-14 deep on a regular basis and our team is fresh at this point of the year. Overall, a great game for us…it’s exactly what we wanted to happen, and we just want to use this momentum to get us ready for Saturday.”

Gustavus hosts Hamline on Saturday in a 3 p.m. contest at Gus Young Court.

 

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