Gusties Fly Past Cardinals, 85-45

Posted on November 19th, 2022 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. — The Gustavus women’s basketball team opened MIAC play Saturday afternoon, and did so in convincing fashion, rolling to a decisive 85-45 victory over Saint Mary’s. The Gusties sported three different players in double-digit points, and shot 50.7 from the field.

“There were a lot of good things to recognize today. We were able to use our depth to our advantage and keep the game up-tempo. That was a huge factor, and it showed in the fourth quarter,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “We shot the ball well which helped us prevent scoring runs and quick transitions on their side.”

Saint Mary’s would have its only lead of the game in the first quarter as Izzy Goettelman and Brooklyn Paulson put four points up for the Cardinals to the Gusties two. It was all Gusties from then on, as they built their first quarter lead to as many as 14, 21-7, before closing out the first frame leading 21-10. The second quarter was more of the same, as Anna Sanders (Sr., Vadnais Heights), Grace Benz (Sr., Steele, N.D.) and Emma Kniefel (Jr., Medford) posted six points each, giving the Gusties a 47-27 lead into halftime.

“We were really strong on the glass today. We knew taking away second-chance opportunities was going to be a crucial factor of our game. Brooklyn Paulson put up 32 points against us last time we played, and we didn’t forget that. You’re never going to stop her, but to contain her to just 15 points today showed how strong our defense was.”

The third quarter saw the Cardinals cut the deficit to 16 points, but the Gusties did not waver, limiting the visitors to only one point in the fourth. The Gusties finished the game on a 15-point scoring run for the convincing final of 85-45.

“Grace Benz really stepped up for us today. She was strong on the glass and finished well. The third quarter has been tough for us, and we’ve struggled with coming out flat after halftime. But, it feels good to win the conference opener and to get the first one under our belt. We have a quick turnaround so we will enjoy this game today and look forward to Saint Benedict next week.”

11 different players scored a point for the Gusties, with Sanders leading the offense for the third time, posting 16 points with two three-pointers. Kniefel finished next for Gustavus, totaling 15 points, while Benz finished with 11. Benz also shared the team-lead in assists with Kylie Baranick (So., Maple Grove), as both players posted six. Rachel Kawiecki (So., Richfield) posted a team-high eight rebounds, with Baranick and Benz not far behind, posting seven each.

The Gusties improve to 3-0 to start their season, and will play next Tuesday at Saint Benedict for a 7 p.m. tip off.


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