Women’s Basketball Pulls Away Late To Earn Program Record 14-Straight Wins At Bethel

Posted on January 11th, 2017 by

Hannah Howard goes up for a layup. (photo courtesy of Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com)

BOX SCORE

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s basketball team went on a 17-11 run in the final ten minutes to defeat Bethel University by a score of 62-58 and earn a program record 14-straight wins.

The Gusties remain undefeated with a program best 14-0 record to start the season, surpassing the 2002-03 Gustavus record 13-straight victories.

“It was a great game,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “I think if you’re a basketball fan, you walked away saying that was really exciting. We feel very fortunate to make some plays down the stretch to separate ourselves and come away with the win.” 

In a back-and-forth game that saw eight lead changes, Gustavus found a way to end up on top at the end. Gustavus captain Hannah Howard (Sr., St. Paul, Minn.) nailed two clutch free throws with six seconds remaining in the game to seal the 62-58 final score and hand the Royals their first home loss of the season.

For the first time this season, the Gusties trailed after one half of play as they were down 35-32 after the first 20 minutes. The Royals led the Gusties in total rebounds by a mark of 39-23 and held their largest lead of nine, twice, last with just under three minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Despite being outrebounded by an opponent for just the second this season, Gustavus controlled the play in the paint. The Gusties outscored the Royals 46-22 from points in the paint. They also capitalized on Bethel mistakes, outscoring the Royals by a mark of 27-7 in points off turnovers.

“It was a tough road win. They are such a good team and they play really well at home. We knew it would be a battle coming in. We did not play our best in the first half and struggled a bit offensively. They’re a great shot-blocking team and they pressure the ball really well. I think the difference for us came down to the fact that we took care of the ball and we made critical free throws down the stretch,” Kelly said. 

Four Gustie starters tallied double-digits points, with Mikayla Miller (Jr., Goodhue, Minn.) and Miranda Rice (Jr., Forest Lake, Minn.) leading the way with 15 points each. Hannah Howard and Justine Lee (So., Dawson, Minn.) both added 14 points. Howard and Miller were each perfect from the free throw line.

“More than anything, we’re just enjoying it,” said Kelly about the 14-0 start. “To accomplish that, it makes us feel great and it helps build confidence. Ultimately, we want to contend for the championship and be in the NCAA tournament. To do something no one else has done, that is special.”

The Black and Gold continue on the road as they travel to Carleton College Saturday afternoon. Tip off is scheduled for 1 p.m. against the Knights in Northfield, Minn.

 

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