By Joe Tischler
Special to The Free Press
Coming into Monday night’s home opener at Bresnan Arena, the Minnesota State women’s basketball team had made 17 3-pointers in their previous two victories. Against Gustavus Adolphus they hit 17 more from beyond the arc as the Mavericks routed the Gusties 93-56 to improve to 3-0.
Gustavus started the 3-point barrage when Julia Dysthe connected from long range for the game’s first points. That was the only lead the Gusties would have. MSU followed with a 19-2 run, draining four 3’s in the spurt. They were led by sophomore Jamie Bresnahan who scored seven in the rally.
Bresnahan tied a career high with 15 points total on 7-for-11 shooting. Junior Ali Wilkinson equaled Bresnahan’s total of 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting.
Seven different Mavericks combined to make nine 3’s in the first half (9-of-15) en route to a 38-28 halftime lead.
“When the shots are falling, everything seems to be a lot easier on the court,” first year head coach Emilee Thiesse said. “We understand that’s not always going to happen and we’re going to have to see what other options we’re going to get, but at the same time, when the ball is falling, you have to keep shooting.”
Any hopes Gustavus had at a comeback were squelched in the first two minutes of the second half as junior Alli Hoefer led a 10-0 run by either scoring or assisting on all 10 points. The surge put MSU up 48-28.
“We knew we had to do a little bit better coming out,” said Hoefer. “We wanted to get a big run and not let them come back.”
Hoefer was one point short of a career high in points with 14, but set a career high with 10 assists. When the team shoots 60 percent from the field (35-of-58) for the game, the assists will come.
“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to (our players)” said Hoefer. “They shot the lights out tonight.”
Ten Mavericks joined in making 17 3’s on 26 attempts for the game (65 percent), led by three each from Hoefer and Hillary Paulson. Paulson scored a career high 11 points.
MSU also assisted on 28 of their 35 makes from the field, a stat that pleased Coach Thiesse.
“We had good team balance, good ball movement, really unselfish basketball tonight and that’s where you’re going to get a lot of those assists,” she said.
Dysthe led Gustavus with 14 points while Britta Rinke contributed 13. The Gusties dropped to 1-2 on the season. Their MIAC opener is Wednesday at Augsburg.
The Mavericks open Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play at 5 p.m. Saturday when they host Concordia-St. Paul at Bresnan Arena.