By Denny Weller
Special to The Free Press
ST PETER —
A refreshed Gustavus Adolphus women¹s basketball team remained
undefeated in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a
convincing 86-66 win over St. Mary¹s University on Wednesday night at Lund
Senior guard Stephanie Comer fired in three 3-pointers and converted 6 of 8
foul shots to pace a balanced Golden Gusties¹ attack with 19 points.
Junior guard Julia Dysthe hit on 7 of 10 field-goal attempts in netting 17
points to go with six steals.
Freshman forward Karina Schroeder came off the bench to total 17 points, six
rebounds and three blocked shots in just 19 minutes.
"I think the first 20 minutes tonight were the best 20 minutes we¹ve played
all year," first-year Gustavus coach Laurie Kelly said. ³I was worried
coming back after a long break, but being at home was important.
"We did a good job of getting shots, and we scored well. I thought our
struggles in the second half were due to fatigue. They picked up their
press, and we got on our heels and started second-guessing our passes."
Gustavus (7-2, 6-0 in the MIAC), playing just its second home game of the
season, received 10 points apiece in the first half from Dysthe and Comer in
building a 46-30 lead, shooting 61.3 percent.
Senior forward Abby Rothenbuehler drained a 3-pointer while scoring a nine
first-half points. Rothenbuehler finished with 15 points, six rebounds,
three assists and four blocked shots.
"Our focus was to come out strong both halves and control the tempo," Comer
said. "This team was picked to finish ahead of us in the conference so we
wanted to set the tone early and then keep it going."
Gustavus, which connected on 32 of 54 from the field for 59.3 percent,
stretched its lead to 58-38 when Rothenbuehler tallied a close-range hoop of
a nifty spin move with 13:22 remaining.
The Cardinals (7-2, 4-2) then went on a 15-6 run to trim the deficit to
64-53 on Courtney Athnos¹ transition basket with 6:02 to go.
However, Dysthe's three-point play and Comer's 3-pointer set up Schroeder's
three-basket flurry -- including a pair of aggressive putbacks -- to seal
"We¹ve been feeling really well at practice, and it was nice to see us play
like we know we can play for a majority of the game," Dysthe said. "We
really moved well without the ball and we¹ve been working hard all week at
hitting our screens. Defensively, we got good pressure on the ball, and we
were able to shut down some of their good players."
Jessica Thone led the Cardinals with 21 points and six assists, while Jamie
Stefely and Bridget Pethke added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
St. Mary¹s ended up 25 of 63 shooting for 39.7 percent. Each team grabbed 33
rebounds, with the Cardinals committing one more turnover 22-21.
Gustavus, which has won the last three games by an average of 14.3 points,
tries to remain undefeated in MIAC, play when it hosts Hamline on Saturday
at 1 p.m.