Women’s Basketball Upsets No. 6 St. Thomas 62-57

Posted on December 7th, 2019 by

Caitlin Rorman

BOX SCORE

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s basketball team snapped St. Thomas’s 77-game MIAC win streak on Saturday, taking down the No. 6 ranked Tommies 62-57. With the victory the Gusties move to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the MIAC, while the Tommies fall to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

“It’s just a great win,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “From the defensive side we started slow and I think part of that is just the heaviness of playing at St. Thomas and knowing their track record. Then we had three first-years on the floor and to them it was just another game and that helped turn things around. The second quarter was huge, as we dominated for ten minutes and were able to go into the locker room with momentum. We knew the second half was going to be a grind and that being gritty and playing with heart was going to be key. We came out and were able to make the plays we needed and got the stops we needed to hold on.”

St. Thomas got off to a good start, jumping up 17-6 just over eight minutes into the contest. The Gusties would close out the quarter with threes from Anna Sanders (Fy., Vadnais Heights) and Maddy Rice (Fy., Forest Lake) while the Tommies tacked on one more basket and they led 19-12 after one quarter.

The second quarter was all Gusties though, as the visitors outscored the home team 19-6. After the two teams each tallied a basket early in the quarter, Gustavus scored 11 straight points, holding the Tommies scoreless for over five minutes to take a 25-21 lead. With the Gusties lead at 27-25 with 3:38 to play, the Black and Gold finished the quarter blanking the Tommies and put up four more points to take a 31-25 lead into the break.

In the third quarter St. Thomas would battle back into it, evening things up at 37 apiece with 5:25 to play in the frame, but Caitlin Rorman (Fy., Blue Earth) and Ava Gonsorowski (Jr., Esko) would get back-to-back layups to push Gustavus back up four. The home team would respond late in the quarter, scoring seven of the last 11 points of the quarter to trim the Gustie lead to 45-44 after three quarters.

Gabby Bowlin (Jr., Winona) sank a three to get things going in the final frame and re-extend the Gustie lead to four. The Tommies would respond on the following possession but a Rorman layup followed by a pair of free throws from Paige Richert (Jr., Comfrey) would push the Gustie lead to six. St. Thomas would respond with a six point run, evening things at 52 with 5:19 to play.

Ava Gonsorowski found her way to the free throw line on two of the next three possessions, knocking down all four attempts and canceling out a pair of St. Thomas free throws to give Gustavus to a two-point lead with 3:44 to play. Rorman added a huge basket down low to push Gustavus up four with under three minutes remaining, and Paige Richert split a pair of free throws on the following possession to put Gustavus up 59-54 with 2:07 left. St. Thomas then enlisted a full court press, notching two straight turnovers, and getting a free throw and layup to cut the lead back to two with 57 seconds to play. Rorman missed an inside shot on the following possession but got her own rebound and was fouled on the put-back, sinking one of two free throws. With 15 seconds to play the Tommies missed a three-pointer, with Bowlin securing the rebound and being fouled to all but put the game away. Bowlin’s first attempt hit every part of the rim as it rattled in, however her second attempt missed. The Tommies missed another shot on their ensuing possession, Gonsorowski grabbed the rebound, and made one more free throw to give the Gusties the 62-57 win.

Rorman led the Gusties in the contest with 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. Richert also played well in the post scoring 12 points, while Gonsorowski added 10 on the perimeter. First-years Sanders and Rice scored eight and six points, respectively, each knocking down a pair of three pointers, while Bowlin also finished with six points.

The win also ends St. Thomas’s 29-game home court win streak and gives the Black and Gold its first triumph over St. Thomas since Feb. 17, 2010.

“It’s exciting but in the locker room after the game I told them I don’t want this to be the highlight of our season,” said Kelly. “I want  them to use it as a motivator going forward so we can accomplish more big things.”

The Gusties will next be in action on Wednesday when they head to Saint Benedict for a 7 p.m. contest.

 

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