Gusties Pick Up Key Win Over Bethel, 66-53 Posted on January 25th, 2023 by


ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — The red-hot Gusties, having won six straight, faced a familiar foe on Wednesday night. After all, the Bethel Royals were one of two teams to defeat Gustavus this season, coming from behind to win the MIAC contest, 70-66.

But the Gusties were determined to make sure history didn’t repeat itself.

Despite a comeback effort from the Royals in the second and third quarter, the Gusties held on and took advantage of the final frame to enact revenge, defeating the Royals 66-53 in the rematch.

The Gusties dominated the first quarter, scoring the first six points of the game before the Royals could manage one. From there, six points from Grace Benz (Sr., Steele, N.D.) gave the Gusties a 17-7 lead after the first. The Gustie defense held the Royals to shooting just 1-for-11 from the field in the first.

The Royals turned up the heat in the second quarter, putting up 19 points to cut the Gustie lead from 10 to three in a matter of minutes. Three 3-pointers helped the Royals build momentum, and keep the Gusties within eight at the half, 34-26.

It was a defensive showdown in the third quarter, as the score remained deadlocked at 36-26 for nine possessions. The scoring finally picked up for both teams late in the third quarter, as the Royals came within reach of the Gustie lead at 44-42 to close out the quarter.

Having been outscored in the second and third quarter, the Gusties were left to make one final push in the fourth. A missed jumper from the Royals gave the Gusties the break they needed with the lead at 50-48. Syd Hauger (Jr., Springfield) netted three to keep the Royals at arm’s-length and squashed any comeback hopes. A crucial rebound from Benz gave the Gusties a seven point lead with just 3:33 remaining, and Kylie Baranick (So., Maple Grove) sealed the deal, adding a trio of points late in the quarter to help the Gusties to their seventh straight victory.

The Gusties struggled from behind the arc, hitting only one 3-point shot of 12 attempts made, but truly shined from the free-throw line. The Gusties made 21-of-25 attempts from the line to help them to victory, including eight for Baranick, who finished with 12 points, five assists, and four steals. Benz led all scorers with 14, while Rachel Kawiecki (So., Richfield) picked up eight rebounds and eight points.

The Gusties, now leading the MIAC with a 12-2 conference record, head to Augsburg on Saturday for their next conference matchup.


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