Women’s Hoops Suffers First Loss To No. 3 St. Thomas In Front Of Record-Setting Crowd

Posted on February 1st, 2017 by

Fans packed Gus Young Court for a women's basketball attendance record of 2,896. (Photo courtesy of AJ Dahm, SPX Sports)

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ST. PETER, Minn. – The No. 17 Gustavus women’s basketball team fell by a score of 75-69 against the No. 3 ranked University of St. Thomas Wednesday evening, suffering its first loss of the season and falling to 19-1 overall, 12-1 MIAC.

In a showdown of the top-two teams in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the previously unbeaten Gusties hosted the Tommies in a record-setting women’s basketball attendance of 2,896 fans at Gus Young Court.

“It was a great crowd,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “I can’t talk enough about the environment and the community coming out, it was amazing. I really felt like that was a huge trigger for us. When we got on our run, the crowd got into the game. It’s hard to walk off the floor knowing someone had to lose, but at the same time all of these people saw a great basketball game.”

Gustavus got off to a hot start with three consecutive three-pointers from Brooke Lemke (So., Delano, Minn.) to give Gustavus a 12-8 lead around four minutes into the game. The Gusties then owned a 23-19 lead after the first quarter of play.

The Tommies fought back in the next 10 minutes to take a 41-35 into halftime. Both teams were hot shooting from beyond the arc, St. Thomas shooting 5-for-8 and the Gusties going 5-for-9.

To start the second half, St. Thomas began to gain a double-digit lead. They eventually established its largest lead of the game of 14 points at the 4:52 minute mark of the third quarter when Kaitlin Langer converted a layup to push the lead to 55-41. Langer led the Tommies with 32 points, shooting 10-for-15 from the field and was also 12-13 from the charity stripe.

Trailing 60-52 at the start of the final frame, the home team went on a 14-6 run and came within one point of the Tommies at the 4:55 minute mark from a Brooke Lemke steal and layup, but St. Thomas found a way to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the game.

Hannah Howard drives against a St. Thomas defender. (AJ Dahm photo)

“We struggled defensively, 1-on-1 in some key possessions but I thought we did a great job taking care of the ball,” Kelly said. “It was a good basketball playoff mentality type of game. Down the stretch I thought we had some good looks. We got stops when we needed to, to get back into the game.”

Mikayla Miller (Jr., Goodhue, Minn.) led all Gusties with 18 points, while four Black and Gold starters recorded double-digit point performances. Hannah Howard (Sr., St. Paul, Minn.) posted her second double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Miranda Rice (Jr., Forest Lake, Minn.) tallied 12, and Brooke Lemke posted 11.

“Before the game, I said we have to play 40 minutes of really hard basketball and at the end we will reevaluate where we’re at,” mentioned Kelly. “Knowing that if we turn the corner and play just a little better, there’s know question we can beat St. Thomas. I don’t think any of us walked out of the locker room feeling like we were overmatched. At the same time, there is a lot of disappointment because we know we had chances.”

Gustavus out-rebounded the Tommies by a mark of 38-37 while the Tommies came away with a 52% shooting percentage compared to the Gusites’ 36.8 field goal percentage. St. Thomas also outscored Gustavus in points in the paint by a margin 38-30.

“I’ve said all year long, sometimes the chips go your way and sometimes they don’t,” Kelly commented. “Today it just didn’t go our way. I think we can look and see some positives and I hope our future has Gustavus and the Tommies playing again. Our goal has always been to contend for the conference championship.”

Gustavus continues its home stretch this Saturday, hosting Hamline University. Tip off is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at Gus Young Court.

 


2 Comments

  1. Kyhl Thomson says:

    What a fantastic atmosphere tonight. Great to see so many fans out to cheer on the Gusties.
    You will definitely get them next time. Awesome game tonight Gusties.

  2. Ed Stern says:

    Coach Kelly, While we failed to get you your 300th win, the Gusties did come back a couple of times to even have chances in the last 4 minutes to take the lead. In reviewing the game, I think it is safe to say that by eliminating a few simple mistakes, the tables will be turned later in the season when we beat the Tommies! I am proud of the team’s great attitude & gutsy efforts! Now, just remember how good we are, and get back into winning!