Women’s Basketball Hosts Bethel In MIAC Playoff Semifinal Matchup

Posted on February 24th, 2017 by

Gustavus vs. Bethel
Date: Friday, February 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: St. Peter, Minn. | Gus Young Court
Live Coverage: Stats | Video


ST. PETER, Minn. – The No. 13/17-ranked and MIAC No. 2 seed Gustavus Adolphus College women’s basketball team opens MIAC Playoff action Friday evening, hosting a semifinal matchup against No. 3 seed Bethel University at Gus Young Court. The 24-1 (17-1 MIAC) Gusties are set to tip off against the 22-4 (16-2 MIAC) Royals at 7 p.m.


Last time out: The Gusties closed out the regular season with a senior day win over Carleton College last Saturday, earning a program record 24 regular season wins and a .960 winning percentage. Seniors Hannah Howard (St. Paul, Minn.), Kelsey Carpenter (St. Peter, Minn.), and Annie Odegard (St. Paul, Minn.) each contributed in their final regular season game at Gus Young Court. Howard led the Gusties as she recorded her second-straight double-double, her fifth of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Carpenter totaled nine points, going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and Odegard added three points while playing a career-high 12 minutes, both earning their first starts of the season.

MIAC Playoff History: Since the initiation of the six-team MIAC Tournament in the 2000-01 season, the Gusties have qualified for the conference playoffs every year. Gustavus is making its 17th consecutive appearance in the MIAC Playoffs this season, holding a record of 9-16 in that time. No team in the MIAC has earned a trip to the league playoffs every year except for Gustavus. The Gusties have found success playing at Gus Youg Court, as the Black and Gold hold a 9-2 record in home playoff games during the course of the 17-year stretch. While Gustavus has yet to claim a MIAC Playoff title, they have earned three trips to the NCAA Tournament.

The Series: Friday’s contest marks the 64th all-time meeting between Gustavus and Bethel with the Gusties holding a 39-25 record over the Royals. The teams previously met Jan. 11 at Bethel with the Gusties prevailing by a score of 62-58. The two programs have met each other three times in playoff history with the Gusties owning a record of 2-1, the last meeting coming during a 2010-11 quarterfinal matchup. Gustavus won 67-63 at Gus Young Court.

Scouting the Royals: Bethel defeated No. 6-seeded Augsburg College Wednesday in a MIAC Playoff Quarterfinal matchup by a score of 70-56 to advance to the semifinals. The Royals are making their fourth consecutive MIAC Playoff appearance, and their sixth in the last seven seasons. They own an all-time MIAC playoff record of 3-6. Bethel was ranked No. 6 in the latest regional polls after they conluded the regular season on a high-note, posting an 11-game win streak with its last loss coming against Gustavus. As a team, Bethel shoots the ball well, ranking second in the MIAC in field goal percentage (46.1) and leading the conferece with a three-point field goal percentage of 38.0. Senior forward Kalli Zimmermann leads the Royals in scoring, averaging 13.7 points per game. First-year forward Taite Anderson and sophomore center Hannah Johnson also averages double-digit scoring numbers with 11.9 points per game. Anderson ranks among the top-five MIAC shooters with a 56.0 field goal percentage while Johnson is a force defensively, leading the league with 201 defensive rebounds and 82 blocks.

In the polls: In the latest D3hoops.com poll, Gustavus remained at No. 13 while moving from No. 20 to No. 17 in the WBCA Coaches Poll. In the regional rankings, the Gusties remain ranked as No. 3 in the West.

Among the National Leaders: Out of 440 teams in NCAA Division III women’s basketball, Gustavus sits near the top in multiple statistical rankings. The 78.4 free throw percentage is second best in the nation, the 46.5 field goal percentage ranks third, the 96.0 winning percentage is tied for sixth best, and the 18.1 assists per game ranks seventh best. Miranda Rice (Jr., Forest Lake, Minn.) ranks eighth-best in the nation with a 58.9 field goal percentage. Mikayla Miller (Jr., Goodhue, Minn.) ranks among the top-50 in the country in assists, steals, and free throw percentage.

Gustavus notables:

– Mikayla Miller continues to lead the Gusties, averaging 17.2 points per game – which ranks second highest in the MIAC. Miller leads the league with an 86.2 free throw percentage and 80 steals, 3.2 per game.

– Miranda Rice ranks third behind Miller in the MIAC, averaging 16.2 points per game. Rice also ranks second in the MIAC with in field goal percentage.

– Gustavus ranks first in the MIAC in points per game (76.0), field goal percentage (46.5), free throw percentage (78.4), assists per game (18.1), and steals per game (12.1).

– Gustavus finished the regular season with a program record 24 wins in a regular season and record .960 winning percentage.

– Last Saturday’s win on senior day marked Head Coach Laurie Kelly’s 90th career win in her fifth season at Gustavus.

– The Gusties are one win away from tying a program record with 25 wins in a season.


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