Women’s Basketball 2019-20 Season Preview Posted on November 16th, 2019 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s basketball team opens its 2019-20 campaign today when it hosts Luther for a 3 p.m. contest. The Gusties, who lost in the MIAC semifinals to St. Thomas last season, graduated their top two scorers from last season and have no seniors on the roster, but return a lot of experience in the upcoming season.

“For us, we have a good veteran group back with a large group of juniors, and then we’re going to have some underclassmen contribute for us,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “We’ve lost four players in the past two years who were record setters for Gustavus women’s basketball. You don’t necessarily replace what Kendall [Thompson] and Justine [Lee] did and Miranda [Rice] and Mikayla [Miller] before them, but our players now get an opportunity to have a different role and take advantage of it.”

The Gusties, who averaged 66.3 points last season return 62 percent of their scoring with Paige Richert (Jr., Comfrey) and Ava Gonsorowski (Jr., Esko) being the top two returners with 10.0 and 7.8 points per game, respectively. Gabby Bowlin (Jr., Winona) also returns after starting 16 games last season, averaging 3.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, and bringing back a team-high 45 steals.

“Gabby and Ava are the two most veteran players for us, but Paige is coming off what I thought could have been an all-conference year and was a big player for us,” said Kelly. “Behind them it’s nice what we have from a coaching perspective because we have a lot of different players who can fill in a lot of different spots. We’re going to go through some growing pains because we’re going to have people in roles they haven’t played much in their career but if we stay positive and keep working hard, we’ll have the potential to be a strong MIAC team.”

Gustavus, which shot just .270 percent from three-point range last season, looks to some returners as well as new faces to improve that percentage this season. Coach Kelly sees a handful of players that should contribute but a few in particular.

“Someone like Marisa Gustafson (Jr., Mahtomedi) who’s a great shooter but hasn’t played much for us in the past is going to step in and give us quality minutes. Miranda’s sister Maddy Rice (Fy., Forest Lake) is on the team and she is one of the most prolific shooters we have to go along with Alison Hinck (Jr., Vadnais Heights) who has the ability to extend defenses with deep three-point range.”

To go along with Rice, the Gusties will look for contributions from first-years Caitlin Rorman (Fy., Blue Earth) and Anna Sanders (Fy., Vadnais Heights). Gustavus has nine juniors on the team this season, and a trio of them – Maddie Wagner (Jr., New Richland), Marnie Wagner (Jr., New Richland), and Hailey Sorenson (Jr., Buffalo) – are all expected to have expanded roles this season.

“What’s great about our junior class is their first year they were apart of the most successful team in Gustavus history. They’ve been apart of something special and they’ve had a taste of it and Ava and Gabby played significant minutes in that season. Then we’ve had a handful of juniors who’ve been sitting on the sidelines just waiting their turn and this year they’re going to be able to step in and contribute.”

The Gusties have a pair of non-conference games before they begin conference play on Nov. 23 against Macalester.

“I think for us right now it’s one day at a time, getting into the gym each day for practice, and progressing from the day before,” said Kelly. “College basketball is a marathon and not a sprint, and the one thing we pride ourselves on is that we continue to get better throughout the year. This group is a fun group and they’ve been working hard everyday in practice and I’m excited to get going and see where we’re at against Luther.”

2019-20 SCHEDULE

2019-20 ROSTER

2018 STATS


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