Women’s Basketball Hangs On for 81-70 Win Over St. Olaf

Posted on November 23rd, 2021 by

Emma Kniefel goes up for a layup against St. Olaf. (photo courtesy of David Faulkner, SPX Sports)


SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s basketball team jumped out to an early 25-15 lead after the first quarter Tuesday night against St. Olaf and was able to hang on for an 81-70 victory. The Gusties improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the MIAC, while the Oles drop to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the league.

Gustavus had five players in double-digit scoring, let by Syd Hauger (So., Springfield) with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers. Maddy Rice (Jr., Forest Lake) added 13 points, Emma Kniefel (So., Medford) and Anna Sanders (Jr., Vadnais Heights) each posted 12 points, and Rachel Kawiecki (Fy., Richfield) contributed 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

The Gusties won the turnover battle 15-7 with 17 points off the takeaway. The Gustie bench was also a key factor as it outscored the Ole bench 25-15.

“Any time you are able to win and learn from it at the same time, that’s an added bonus for us,” Head Coach Laurie Kelly said. “We’re just young and inexperienced so with every timeout and break we are able to work on different areas of our game. We shot the ball better tonight, we were better from the free throw line, we won the turnover battle, and we did a lot of good things with five kids in double figures, so there are positives from this game. The thing that stood out to me was when we needed a defensive stop or a rebound, we let them hang around the whole second half. Against really good teams you are not going to be able to do that.”

St. Olaf grabbed the lead twice in the first three minutes of the game but a three-pointer by Rice at the 4:24 mark gave the Gusties a 9-6 lead that they would not let go of the rest of the game. Gustavus closed the first quarter on a 14-5 run for a 25-15 advantage after the first 10 minutes.

The scoring possessions were evenly traded to start the second quarter before the Gusties went on a 13-7 run to finish the half with a 41-28 lead.

The third quarter continued to be a back-and-forth battle on each possession with the Gusties edging the Oles 20-18 in points and carried a 61-46 lead into the fourth. St. Olaf never allowed the Gusties to gain a comfortable lead in the fourth and was able to bring the score to single digits, but the clock was Gustavus’s friend as the Oles ran out of time to stage a comeback.

Gustavus is off for Thanksgiving break and then returns to Gus Young Court on Dec. 1 against Carleton.


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