Erin Haglund scores two of her 12 points as St. Olaf topped Gustavus 67-55 on Wednesday night.
St. Olaf 67, Gustavus 55 (Box)

Balanced attack earns women's basketball a MIAC win over Gustavus

Michael Abdella
February 1, 2012

NORTHFIELD, Minn.- Four Oles were in double figures as the St. Olaf women's basketball team took a big step towards clinching a playoff berth with a 67-55 victory over Gustavus Adolphus on Wednesday night at the Skoglund Center.

Kirstee Rotty scored 14 points and had eight rebounds, while Erin Haglund posted 12 points and nine boards. St. Olaf also got contributions off the bench from Sheridan Blanford and Elise Raney, as each scored 10 points. The pair also combined for 13 rebounds.

The first 10-plus minutes of the game were even closely contested, as a Molly Geske three-pointer cut the Oles lead to 21-18 with 9:08 left in the opening half. From then on, the Oles stretched their lead to as much as 11 at 36-25 and took a 36-28 lead into halftime.

With St. Olaf ahead 40-32 early in the second half, the Oles went on a 18-4 run during a seven-minute stretch to establish a commanding 22-point advantage with 10:39 remaining. The spurt was capped by back-to-back layups from Haglund and three's from Brittany Webber, Addy Bates and Rotty. Gustavus never got any closer than 12 the rest of the way, as the Oles handed the Gusties just their third MIAC loss of the season.

Geske led Gustavus with 13 points but was held to 4--of-14 shooting, mostly due to the defense of Webber. Abby Rothenbuehler was the only other Gustie in double figures scoring 10 points and adding nine rebounds.

St. Olaf shot 47.1 percent from the field for the game, including 10-19 (52.6%) after the break. Gustavus managed to shoot just 21-66 (31.8%). The Oles also outshot the Gusties from the perimeter. The hosts made seven threes compared to just two on fourteen attempts for the visitors.

Haglund, Rotty, Blanford, and Raney helped St. Olaf to a 42-36 rebound advantage. However, the real advantage for the Oles was in assists. St. Olaf had 15 assists on 24 baskets, while Gustavus had only four. Mackenzie Wolter was held to just seven points but dished out seven assists.

The win moves St. Olaf to 14-6, 11-6 in MIAC play, while Gustavus falls to 16-4, 14-3 in the conference. St. Olaf is tied with Concordia for third and is a single game ahead of Bethel and Saint Mary's. The women return to action on Saturday at the Skoglund Center with a conference game against Bethel.

Contact media relations specialist Mike Ludwig at (507) 786-3834 or ludwigm@stolaf.edu.