Women’s Hoops Smothers Carleton, Wins 75-40

Posted on January 7th, 2023 by

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

SAINT PETER, Minn. — Following their second loss of the season, and first loss at home, the Gustavus women’s basketball team was eager to respond, and did so in convincing fashion, rolling to a 75-40 MIAC victory over Carleton. With the win, the Gusties improve to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in the conference.

The Gusties managed to hold a lead of nearly double for the entirety of the game, with their greatest lead at 40 in the fourth quarter. Riley Queensland (Jr., Grand Meadow) had a career day, posting a season- and career-high nine points, shooting 3-4 on 3-pointers.

“It’s a good bounce back for us. Sometimes when you lose, you get a chance to refocus, and that’s what happened tonight,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly. “Walking away from our loss Wednesday gave us a chance to reevaluate what we can improve on.”

The Gusties put their foot on the pedal early in the first quarter, outscoring the Knights 21-8, 10 of which came from the likes of Anna Sanders (Sr., Vadnais Heights). The Gusties added 15 more to the second quarter, and held Carleton to shooting just 19.2% from the field.

The Knights made their biggest push in the third quarter, erupting for 17 points to the Gusties’ 15, but the hope was short-lived, as two threes from Emma Kniefel (Jr., Medford) gave the Gusties the offensive momentum they needed in the final frame. The Gustie defense held the Knights to shooting a meager 29.5% (13-44) from the field and a 3-for-19 mark when shooting from the 3-point line. Meanwhile, Gustavus shot 8-for-10 from the free throw line and added 11 3-pointers on 27 attempts to seal the victory.

Sanders and Kniefel both finished with a team- and game-high 16 points. Sanders was four rebounds away from finishing the double-double with six on the game, just one behind Grace Benz (Sr., Steele, N.D.) who led the game with seven boards. Benz added 10 more points on the night, rounding out the Gusties’ double-digit point scorers. Four Gusties added five or more to the total, with Queensland at nine., Syd Hauger (Jr., Springfield) and Rachel Kawiecki (So., Richfield) at eight each, and six for Lexi Schermann (Jr., Mayer) on two three-pointers.

“We set the tone and played a really good team game. Our focus was defense and it showed tonight. It was great to see some of our players step up. A lot of players got a lot of minutes, and we were able to get back to playing Gustie basketball. It was fun to see a few players really shine today — Riley Queensland with career highs and Emma Kniefel had a big offensive night, shooting 80.0% from the free throw line, which has definitely been an Achilles heel for us this season. There were a lot of really good things tonight, and it was nice to see our defense get back to what we believe Gustavus defense is.”

The Gusties are back in action next Wednesday, heading to Duluth to face St. Scholastica for their first road game of 2023.

 

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