Women’s Hoops Sets MIAC Record with 97 Points in Semifinal Victory Posted on February 24th, 2023 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. — It’s safe to say that the Gustie offense has had a pretty impressive season. After all, the Gusties have posted more than 75 points on 14 different occasions this year, including a season-high 91 against St. Olaf. As if 91 wasn’t enough, the Gustavus women’s basketball combined for 97 points, in the MIAC playoff semifinal nonetheless, to defeat Saint Benedict by a margin of 35 and punch a ticket to the MIAC Championship game.

The Gusties jumped out to the first lead immediately after tip off, and built it to 7-2 in virtually no time. The Bennies, determined to keep pace, put up five straight points of their own to tie the game at sevens, one of three stalemates in the first quarter. It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the first ten minutes, with the Gusties emerging with a five-point lead after the first frame, thanks to eight points from Rachel Kawiecki (So., Richfield).

The team found its grove – and a double-digit lead – to start the second quarter, with Kylie Baranick (So., Maple Grove) hitting back to back layups to push the Gusties ahead, 30-20. From there, it was routine work for the Gustie offense, who rattled off a seven point scoring run for a 19 point lead. The Bennies, who were held to just six baskets in the second quarter, added two points in the final minute, sending the teams to the locker rooms with a 48-31 Gustie lead.

The Gusties combined for 49 more points in the second half, scoring 24 in the third and holding the Bennies to just 12. Anna Sanders (Sr., Vadnais Heights), who put up 12 points in the first half, added six more to her total with two threes in the third. The final quarter was more of the same, as the Gusties were led by Lexi Shermann (Jr., Mayer) who put up eight points in the final frame, shooting 3-for-3 from the field with a perfect 2-for-2 3-point mark.

Shooting 70.4% from the field in the second half, the Gusties were able to eclipse their season-high from earlier this year, scoring the most points in a game since the 2016-17 season when the team netted 106 against Hamline. The team also set a new MIAC record for points in a playoff game, beating out a 9-year-old record of 94 set by Saint Mary’s in the 2014 tournament.

The Gusties finished with five players in double digit points, led by Sanders with 22, tying her season-high from earlier in the year. Emma Kniefel (Jr., Medford) followed Sanders with 17, while Baranick and Kawiecki both picked up 12 and Riley Queensland (Jr., Grand Meadow) chipped in 11. Kawiecki led the game’s rebounding with eight, followed closely by Kniefel at seven. Baranick once again led the team in assists, posting seven on the night, while Kawiecki and Sanders added six of their own to the total.

The Gusties, who have now won 16-straight games, will face Concordia on Sunday for the MIAC Championship game to be held at 2 p.m. at Gus Young Court. The Cobbers will make their first Championship appearence since 2013, while the Gusties look for their second-ever and back-to-back MIAC Playoff Championship. The two teams split their regular season series, each winning on their own home court. The Gusties hold a 3-2 record over the Cobbers in the MIAC Playoffs.


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