Dominant Defense Guides Women’s Hoops To 65-38 Win Over St. Kate’s To Open Playoffs

Posted on February 20th, 2018 by


ST. PETER, Minn. – A suffocating first half defensive performance by the Gustavus women’s basketball team Tuesday set the tone as it cruised to a 65-38 win over St. Catherine in a MIAC playoff quarterfinal game. The Gusties held the Wildcats to eight points in the first quarter and just three points in the second for a total of 11 after 20 minutes of play – the fewest points allowed in any half all season long. With the win, the Gusties advance to the semifinal round Thursday night at No. 2 seed Saint Benedict. The Blazers won the regular season matchup 66-62 last Wednesday.

In tonight’s quarterfinal game, the two teams traded buckets to start the game before the Gusties went on a 10-1 run and never looked back. Gustavus held the visitors scoreless for more than a five-minute span late in the first quarter and into the second, resulting in a 33-11 advantage at halftime.

“We set the tone on defense and that wasn’t the case last Saturday at their place,” Head Coach Laurie Kelly said. “To give up three field goals in 20 minutes, what else are you going to say as a coach. I constantly talk about the fact that when we play solid defense it takes pressure off our offense.”

The second half was played much more evenly on the scoreboard with the Gusties out-scoring the Wildcats 16-12 in the third and 16-15 in the fourth for the 27-point decision. Gustavus shot 35.3 percent from the floor (24-68) and out-rebounded the Wildcats 46-36. The Gusties also forced 26 turnovers, which generated 28 points.

Miranda Rice (Sr., Forest Lake, Minn.) led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor. She also hauled in eight rebounds. Mikayla Miller (Sr., Goodhue, Minn.) added 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

“It was or last game at Gus Young Court. This is a place we feel comfortable playing in front of our fans and families, so that was great to get one last win at home,” Kelly said. “But now we roll up our sleeves and work on getting back to the finals.”


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