Forward Taylor Young led the No. 17-ranked St. Thomas women’s basketball team with 16 points and 7 rebounds in the Tommie’s 90-56 victory over Gustavus (13-11, 10-11 MIAC) Wednesday night at Schoenecker Arena.
In her second game back from an ACL injury, guard Jenna Dockter went 6-for-7 from the field, contributing 13 points , while center Maggie Weiers, guard Katie Stone and forward Elaine Warner each added 12 in the effort.
Dockter said she was proud of the way her team responded after a tough loss the previous game.
“We had a little roadblock up at Concordia on Saturday, and at practice this week we really examined stuff we needed to work on,” Dockter said. “We’re getting back to playing hard defense and playing as a team, so we’re excited.”
Ninety points is the second-highest score St. Thomas has posted this season and was largely due to the Tommies (20-4 overall, 18-3 MIAC) going 60 percent from beyond the arc. The Tommie women connected on 9-of-15 3-point attempts, with 6 of those 3-pointers coming in the second half.
Stone connected on 4-of-5 shots from downtown for her 12 points.
St. Thomas scored 35 points off turnovers, and Stone said the team’s pressure helped force some of those situations.
“We got so many stops on our press, which lead to our transition offense,” Stone said. “I feel like tonight we came out very strong, which hopefully leads us into the postseason.”
Coach Ruth Sinn agreed that the pressure was key to the team’s success.
“I thought there was a collective effort defensively and offensively,” Sinn said. “Defensively, I think they got into their groove and did a great job putting a lot of pressure on especially in the backcourt.”
Although St. Thomas held a 34-point advantage by the end of the game, the Gusties hung with the Tommies for the majority of the first half.
St. Thomas led 27-24 with 7:55 left in the first half, and a 3-pointer from Stone started a 14-3 run, which put the Tommies up 41-27 at half.
St. Thomas extended that lead by outscoring Gustavus 41-29 in the second half.
The Tommies went 11-for-12 from the charity stripe, but sent the Gusties to the line 26 times by committing early and frequent fouls in each half.
Sinn said the fouls will happen with aggressive play, but she added that the team can work on getting their “hands off.”
During Wednesday evening’s contest, St. Thomas’ Colleges Against Cancer hosted their annual Hoops for Hope event, a fundraiser that CAC President and St. Thomas Junior Heather Meeks said was created to commemorate cancer victims and to rally awareness for the disease.
“We’re raising cancer awareness and highlighting the players whose lives have been affected by cancer in hopes of reaching everyone who was at the game,” Meeks said.
Meeks said the CAC raised more than $100 by selling cups and sponsoring a halftime half-court shot contest. Meeks said the funds will go toward the CAC’s main fundraiser, the Relay for Life.
“It’s going towards our goal of $41,000, so it’s a small step in the right direction,” Meeks said.
The referees blew pink whistles and both teams sported pink accessories for the occasion.
The Tommies’ victory preserved their shared second-place spot in the MIAC with Concordia-Moorhead.
St. Thomas’ next matchup, and final regular season game is at St. Benedict’s Claire Lynch Hall on Saturday, Feb. 22.
Molly Sigler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org