Women’s Basketball Escapes With 60-56 Win At UW-River Falls

Posted on December 29th, 2016 by


RIVER FALLS, Wis. – The Gustavus women’s basketball team continued its impressive start to the 2016-17 campaign with its 11th consecutive win Thursday against the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The 60-56 win over the Falcons moves the Gusties to 11-0, which is the second best start to a season in program history.

“I’m really happy with the win today,” Head Coach Laurie Kelly said. “We really had to grind it out, it was not our best performance of the year, but we did what we needed to do down the stretch to pull out a victory.”

Mikayla Miller (Jr., Goodhue, Minn.) led all scorers with 23 points, including nine points from the free throw line, and three steals. Miranda Rice (Jr., Forest Lake, Minn.) also reached double figures with 10 points and added six rebounds. Justine Lee (So., Dawson, Minn.) led the Gusties down on the blocks with a career-high seven rebounds.

The first quarter was a true back and forth battle with five lead changes and three ties, resulting in a 22-18 lead for the Falcons after the first 10 minutes. The Gusties defense buckled down in the second quarter, allowing only eight points, while the offense put up 14 points for a 32-30 lead at halftime.

The third quarter went back in favor of the Falcons as they outscored the Gusties 13-9 for a 43-41 advantage after 30 minutes of play. But Gustavus owned the fourth quarter as it went on a 12-4 run for a 53-45 advantage at the 6:09 mark. UW-River Falls was able to cut the deficit to two points on three occasions, but was never able to tie the score or regain the lead. With 14 seconds remaining in the game, Rice made the play of the night as she blocked a layup, which would have tied the game. Instead, the block set up a free throw on the other end of the court and the Gusties were able to escape with a victory.

“With the exception of the first quarter, I thought we did a great job defensively,” Kelly said. “Taylor Karge is their leading scorer and I thought we did a good job of taking her out of the game. Mikayla Miller did great for us on offense and was really big for us in the first half because we struggled to score and struggled from behind the arc.”

Gustavus shot 32.7 percent from the field and had 10 steals. Both teams had 35 rebounds.

“It’s a credit to our team to buckle down and grind out a tough road win,” Kelly said. “I thought this was a great game to prepare us for MIAC play. I’m very proud of them for going through the 2016 season undefeated so far. This is something very special and we’re going to continue to take it one game at a time and get ready for Augsburg.”

The Gusties return to Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play Wednesday at Augsburg.


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