Women’s Basketball Downs UW-La Crosse 67-59 In Home Opener

Posted on November 21st, 2017 by

Taylor Anderson looks for an open passing lane. (photo courtesy of Alex Nadeau, SPX Sports)


ST. PETER, Minn. – The No. 16-ranked Gustavus women’s basketball team squeaked out a 67-59 home-opening victory against UW-La Crosse on Tuesday night at Gus Young Court. The Gusties held a slim three-point lead with 1:16 remaining in the game, but held the Eagles scoreless the rest of the way to move to 2-0 on the season.

Gustavus shot 40.3 percent (25-62) from the floor, while allowing UW-La Crosse to shoot 46.2 percent (24-52). The Eagles also out-rebounded the Gusties 38-35, but one key difference was 17 turnovers committed by the visitors, which Gustavus scored 27 points off of.

“We didn’t shoot the ball all that well and we didn’t want to put our defense in a situation where we were forced to score,” Head Coach Laurie Kelly said. “To hold them to nine points in the first quarter while shooting 26 percent and you’re winning, that was a key for us. There are sometimes you just have to grit one out. It’s a long season and when things aren’t going well you have to get the 50-50 balls, the hustle balls, and win the rebounding battle, and we did those things at the end of the game when it mattered most.”

The first half went back and forth with six lead changes and four ties, resulting in a 25-22 advantage for the Gusties at halftime. Gustavus never trailed in the second half, but had to fight off a number of Eagle rallies that brought the score within three points eight times in the final 20 minutes.

Taylor Anderson (Jr., Rogers, Minn.) fueled a hot start to the fourth quarter by making three consecutive three-pointers, giving the Gusties a nine-point lead with 6:44 to play. UW-La Crosse crept back into the game, cutting the deficit to 62-59 with 1:16 on the clock, but the Gustie defense did not allow another shot the rest of the game, while adding five more points to secure the win.

“There’s no question Taylor Anderson was player of the game for us,” Kelly said. “When other people are struggling offensively, you just need that one player to step up. It feels good to get a win at home. Walking away from the game I thought we learned a lot. There are things we obviously need to work on, but I feel we won this game tonight with grit and hard work.”

Four Gusties reached double figure points, led by Miranda Rice (Sr., Forest Lake, Minn.) with 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor. Anderson finished with 16 points on five three-pointers and a free throw, while Kendall Thompson (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds, and Justine Lee (Jr., Dawson, Minn.) contributed 11 points.

Gustavus has Thanksgiving weekend off and then travels to Martin Luther College for a 7:30 p.m. non-conference game Monday.


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