Efficient Offensive Attack Leads Women’s Hoops To MIAC Opening Win

Posted on November 30th, 2016 by

The Gustie bench celebrates a three-pointer late in the game. (Photo courtesy of Roisen Granlund, Gustavus Sports Information '17)

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ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s basketball team scored a season-high 88 points in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener against Concordia College Wednesday evening at Gus Young Court.

The Black and Gold offensive efficiently shot 52.6 percent from the field and outscored Concordia 42-8 from points in the paint, leading to an 88-52 victory. With the win Gustavus moves its overall record to 6-0 (1-0 MIAC), while the Cobbers fall to 3-4 (0-1 MIAC).

Gustavus shot a season-best 30-57 from the field and 9-19 (47.4%) from beyond the arc en route to the season-high offensive output. The 88 points also stands as the most points scored in a conference match since Gustavus tallied 89 points in a win over Carleton College during the 2013-14 season. The 6-0 start for the Gusties ties the best start of the season since the 2008-09 squad also owned a 6-0 start.

The Gusties were off to a hot start through the first quarter of play, eventually owning a 23-9 after through the first quarter. Concordia came right back with strong push back in the next quarter, outscoring Gustavus 22-12 and cutting the Gustie lead to just four near the end of the first half. Gustavus led the Cobbers by a score of 35-31 after two periods of play.

“It was a great game for us,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “I thought we came out really strong. Defense was the focus coming into the game and I thought we did a great job starting that. I think when we got the lead, we kind of took our foot off the gas and we started having lapses defensively and we struggled to make shots.”

A strong start in the third quarter proved to be lethal as the Gusties outscored the Cobbers 30-10 to take a 65-41 lead. Great shooting was noteworthy in the second half as Gustavus shot 19-29, 65.5 percent from the field.

“I thought our second half was the best second half we’ve played all season,” Kelly commented. “The third quarter has been kind of an achilles heal for us, but we really stepped it up in the third quarter today.”

Four Gusties ended up compiling double-digit points on the scoresheet. Miranda Rice (Jr., Forest Lake, Minn.) established a great presence in the paint, leading Gustavus with 18 points. Hannah Howard (Sr., St. Paul, Minn.) shot 5-6 from the field to total 13 points.

Kelsey Carpenter (Sr., St. Peter, Minn.) and Kendall Thompson (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.) were both hot from beyond the arc, both shooting 3-5 from three-point range. Carpenter tallied a season-best 12 points while Thompson established a career-best game with 11 points.

“It was nice to see Kelsey and Kendall kind of get their shot back. They’re great shooters and had kind of been in a little slump. We were good from the three-point line in the second half. It was crazy, we shot the ball really well,” mentioned Kelly.

On top of controlling the play in the paint, Gustavus was able to capitalize off Concordia turnovers. The Gusties outscored the Cobbers in points off turnovers (37-4) and fast break points (12-0).

“You could tell their game plan was to take Mikayla Miller (So., Goodhue, Minn.) out of the game,” Kelly said. “They face-guarded her, they stayed with her and switched out all of the other screens. I think it’s a great credit to our team that you can take Mikayla and give her four points, she’s gonna get nine assists, and we’re gonna have four kids scoring double figures besides her. I think that is what we have to do to win. We are not about one player, she (Miller) is a phenomenal player for us but if you take her away, other people are going to step up.”

The Gusties continue MIAC play this Saturday, heading to St. Paul, Minn. at 1 p.m. to take on Macalester College.

“I think it was a great starting point to conference play. Starting today, it is really 0-0 in your mind and it is really the season that matters. Our goal is to try to get to the NCAA tournament, that is what this team wants. You can’t afford to drop games at home and Concordia is a good team and they battled hard so it is a credit to our team to show up on both ends of the floor,” Kelly concluded.

 

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