Seniors Lead Gustavus Women’s Basketball To NCAA Tournament Win Over Rose-Hulman

Posted on March 2nd, 2018 by

Mikayla Miller. (photo courtesy of Larry Radloff, d3photography.com)

BOX SCORE

WHITEWATER, Wis. – Gustavus Adolphus College seniors Miranda Rice (Forest Lake, Minn.) and Mikayla Miller (Goodhue, Minn.) scored the Golden Gusties’ first 11 points against Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and didn’t look back, guiding Gustavus to a 60-52 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

“It was a hard-fought battle between both teams,” head coach Laurie Kelly said in the postgame press conference. “In the end it just came down to two good teams battling possession-for-possession.”

The Gusties jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game and stretched the gap to 17-4 after just over five minutes of play. Shooting 60 percent from the field in the first quarter, Gustavus led 20-10 after 10 minutes, with Miller picking up 10 points in the opening frame.

Gustavus continued to apply pressure in the second, carrying a 34-22 lead into halftime. But the Fightin’ Engineers came out hot after the break, cutting the lead to five (37-32) with 6:29 left in the third. After nearly three scoreless minutes in the middle of the quarter, Taylor Anderson (Jr., Rogers, Minn.) jumpstarted the Gusties with a clutch three-pointer and Miller added another with 2:19 on the clock to push the Gustavus lead back to nine (43-34).

“I give credit to Rose-Hulman. Defensively they elevated in the second half and were really pressuring us,” Kelly said. “When you’re feeling that tension, getting a couple of possessions ahead brings it down to making defensive stops.”

After Gustavus built an 11-point lead early in the fourth, Rose-Hulman fought back again, cutting the gap to one (53-52) with 2:46 to play. Kendall Thompson (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) answered immediately for the Gusties, dropping a three-pointer with 2:23 before an Ava Gonsorowski (Fy., Esko, Minn.) steal forced the Fightin’ Engineers to foul.

The Golden Gusties shot 40.7 percent from the field and added 31 rebounds against Rose-Hulman’s 45.3 shooting percentage and 34 boards. Rice and Miller paced Gustavus with 23 and 19 points, respectively, while Rice added eight rebounds for the Gusties.

“We were led by our seniors today,” Kelly said.

“You love them like your own kids and you’re excited about what they’re going to do in the future, but part of you knows that the program will never be the same when they leave,” the coach continued. “Every team is unique and I really enjoy this one and want us to spend as much time together as possible. To be here at least until Sunday is really special.”

The Gusties ended the game just as they began – with free throws from Miller and Rice closing the scoring as Gustavus captured the second NCAA Tournament win in program history. The Gusties will take on the winner of tonight’s UW-Whitewater and UW-Superior game tomorrow night at 7 p.m. with a trip to the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen on the line.

 


One Comment

  1. Bob and Judy Douglas says:

    Go Gusties!!!!! Great win!!!! Keep it going!!!