Gusties Dominate Second Half, Defeat Luther 84-50 Posted on December 30th, 2022 by


DECORAH, Iowa — The Gustavus women’s basketball team — who headed into the two-week winter break on a three-game winning streak — stayed red-hot after the hiatus, rolling to a non-conference victory over Luther, 84-50. A strong second half drove the victory, as the Gusties put up a scoring run of 16 points in the third and built their lead to as many as 36 in the fourth.

“After a long time off, we came back from the break really strong. It was a great road win and a great team win,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly.

Emma Kniefel (Jr., Medford) scored the first two to get the Gusties on the board, and they never looked back, holding the lead for the entirety of the game. The first quarter saw the best effort from the Norse, who managed to bring the Gusties within three, but it wouldn’t be enough, as a high powered Gustie offense wrapped up the first half with a 44-28 lead thanks to 15 points from  Anna Sanders (Sr., Vadnais Heights) and 10 from Kylie Baranick (So., Maple Grove).

The first half was just a taste of what was to come, as the Gusties put together a dominant third and fourth quarter. The Gusties out-scored Luther 40-22 in the second half, shooting 50% from the field and 87.5 from the free throw line.

“From a defensive perspective, holding them to 50 points was crucial for the win. For a team that rebounds as well as they do, we were really strong on our boards and that was a key to our game. We were hot from the 3-point line and the free throw line. Some areas we haven’t done as well earlier really shined today. Six players tallied eight points, and our whole team really had a chance to make an impact tonight.”

Anna Sanders led the Gusties, posting a game-high 22 points and five steals. Rachel Kawiecki (So., Richfield) and Grace Benz (Sr., Steele, N.D.) shared the lead in rebounds with six each. Kawiecki also posted team-highs in assists (four) and blocks (two).

“This was our final non-conference game before we head back into MIAC play. It was exactly what we needed and hoping for to get us ready for more conference play. Overall, it was a great way to end the 2022 part of our season, and we’re excited to see what lies ahead.”

The Gusties are back to MIAC play next, facing Bethel on Jan. 4 for their first game of 2023. 


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