The Gustavian Weekly

8-0 Women’s Basketball off to their best start in 14 seasons | The Gustavian Weekly

By Tanner Sparrow - Sports & Fitness Editor | December 9, 2016 | Sports & Fitness

The Gustie Bench celebrates a three pointer in theirwin over Concordia. The Gustie offense has been very impressive this season, and is a big reason the Women are off to their best start since the 2002-’03 season. The Gusties are hoping they can carry their momentum all the way to the NCAA tournament.

The Gustie Bench celebrates a three pointer in theirwin over Concordia. The Gustie offense has been very impressive this season, and is a big reason the Women are off to their best start since the 2002-’03 season. The Gusties are hoping they can carry their momentum all the way to the NCAA tournament.

The Women’s Basketball team is helping out with Gustavus’ electric bill this year by heating up the Lund Center. The Gusties are undefeated through eight games this year, marking their hottest start since the ‘02-‘03 season. Although the Gusties are playing well on both sides of the floor, offense is definitely their biggest strength.

“You don’t really shoot 71 percent from the three-point line too often, so we were really strong offensively.” — Coach Laurie Kelly

On Nov. 30 Gustavus opened up MIAC play with a dominant 82-55 win over Concordia-Moorhead. The Gusties went 30-57 from the field and 9-19 from three-point range. The Gusties were in the holiday spirit, sharing scoring as four players reached double-digit points in the victory. Junior Miranda Rice had 18, Senior Hannah Howard had 13, and both Senior Kelsey Carpenter and Sophomore Kendall Thompson went for 11.

“I think it was a great starting point to conference play. Starting today, it is really 0-0 in your mind and it is really the season that matters. Our goal is to try to get to the NCAA tournament, that is what this team wants. You can’t afford to drop games at home and Concordia is a good team and they battled hard so it is a credit to our team to show up on both ends of the floor,” Head Coach Laurie Kelly said.

In their 81-60 win over Macalaster again showcased the Gusties shooting abilities. They shot 15-29 from the field in the first half, and 15-27 in the second half to earn a season-best 53.6 field goal percentage. The Gusties were an impressive 10-14 from behind the arc, good for a 71.4 percentage from three point range Junior Mikayla was a large part of this, going a perfect 5-5 on her threes. Her 19 points on the game leave her just 20 points shy of the 1,000 career points mark. Rice again led the Gusties with 22 points after shooting 9-12.

“I definitely think it was an outstanding offensive performance based on how well we shot the ball,” Kelly said. “You don’t really shoot 71 percent from the three-point line too often, so we were really strong offensively.”

Despite the Gusties hot shooting, some defensive miscues left Macalester only 9 points back after a half. The second half was all Black and Gold though, giving the Gusties a more comfortable 20-point lead.

“Our goal is to try and make it to the NCAA tournament, that is what this team wants. You can’t afford to drop games at home and Concordia is a good team and they battled hard so it is a credit to our team to show up on both sides of the floor.” — Coach Laurie Kelly

“I thought defensively, we had some breakdowns and gave up too many points, more than we anticipated,” Kelly said. “It was nice to see that we did a good job on the glass. That was a focus going in to make sure we rebounded the ball well. We limited our turnovers which was a goal of ours going into the game. Macalester played hard and they’re not going to go away and I give them credit, they kept battling back and shot the ball very well.”

The Gusties led the Scots in both rebounds (33-21) and second chance points (22-7).

“It feels good to be 7-0. It’s our first road win in conference play, which is a hard thing to do no matter who you play. Our team continues to try to build from where we are and get ready for the next game ahead.” Kelly said.

At time of print, the Gusties had just defeated St. Olaf College to remain undefeated. The team will next travel to Winona to take on Saint Mary’s University on Dec. 10. then will face UW-Stout in Menomonie, WI on Dec. 13 before the holiday break.