Women’s Basketball Advances to MIAC Semis with Win Over Hamline

Posted on February 25th, 2020 by

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s basketball team hosted Hamline in an MIAC quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday night and advanced to the semifinals with a 84-76 victory. With the win the Gusties move to 18-8 overall and 14-7 against MIAC opponents, while Hamline ends its season 15-11 overall and 10-11 in the MIAC.

“We played great,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “It’s fun to see all the students out to support us. For our last home game with this team it was a great way to go out scoring 84 points. We did some good things, but for us in the second half we’re going to have to defend a lot better than that. I think the highlight was having Gabby [Bowlin] (Jr., Winona) back on the floor after her injury. It’s been such a great season for us as we’ve had a lot of obstacles with injuries and ups-and-downs and we have thrown people into roles they maybe weren’t ready for but we’ve been learning as we go and had some young players step up and some veteran players take a bigger role. I don’t think people understand that when you have someone that handles the ball and makes decisions the way Ava [Gonsorowski] (Jr., Esko) how much you can take it for granted.”

The Gusties got of to a quick start, jumping up 10-3 early thanks largely in part to six points from Caitlin Rorman (Fy., Blue Earth). The Pipers would cut the lead to two points at 14-12, but layups by Maddy Rice (Fy., Forest Lake) and Marisa Gustafson (Jr., Mahtomedi) would put the Gusties back up six at the end of one quarter.

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Gusties would start to roll extending their lead to 10 midway through the frame with a Rice three-pointer. Hamline would answer and cut the deficit back to six but a Rice three followed by a Rorman bucket would give Gustavus its biggest lead of the half at 11. The teams would trade baskets late before Rorman scored with time winding down to put the Black and Gold up 37-28 at the half.

The Pipers made their run in the third quarter. After the teams traded buckets early and the Gusties held a 41-32 lead Hamline would score five straight to pull things to four points and a few possessions later would turn the contest into a one possession game. The Gusties got in foul trouble early in the third and the Pipers would frequent be at the at the line, as the visitors went 9-of-9 from the free throw line in the quarter.  The Pipers could never get over the hump though as Anna Sanders (Fy., Vadnais Heights) hit a three and a pair of layups to go along with a Rorman layup in a two minute span to keep the Gustavus lead at 57-53 heading into the final quarter.

Hamline would once again come out strong in the fourth, as the teams traded punches early. They would score on consecutive possessions to cut the lead to three, but a big three from Alison Hinck (Jr., Vadnais Heights) on the left wing would put the Gusties back up six. With the home team leading by two possessions, Hamline couldn’t overcome the deficit as Gustavus continued to answer the call, extending its lead to 10 with 1:13 to play and holding on for the 84-76 victory.

Rorman would tally a game-high 23 points in the contest to go along with seven rebounds and three assists to lead the way for Gustavus. Rice and Sanders would add 13 each with Sanders also posting six rebounds and five assists. Bowlin poured in 11 in her return with a team-high eight rebounds and three steals.

“We’re excited to go on the road on Thursday,” said Kelly. “At this point we’re two games away from the NCAA tournament. I keep telling them that’s why we play tournament games, and Bethel is a quality team but we feel confident we can give them a really good fight.”

The Gusties will now advance to the MIAC semifinals where they will take on Bethel on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Arden Hills.

 

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