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Women's Hoops rally falls short in first loss of season

Sports Information photo by Taylor Casey
Sports Information photo by Taylor Casey

Caitlin Rorman had 20 points and seven rebounds and visiting Gustavus outscored No. 6-ranked St. Thomas 32-9 from 3-point range and at the foul line in Saturday's 62-57 win at Schonecker Arena.

The Gusties (6-1 overall, 3-0 MIAC) snapped the Tommies' 77-game win streak against conference opponents dating back 1,428 days until early January 2016, a 80-60 home loss to Bethel.

Coach Laurie Trow's Gusties also ended St. Thomas' 29-game home win streak, and halted their program's 23-game losing streak to St. Thomas. The Gusties were 0-13 in the new Schoenecker Arena at the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex over nine seasons before pulling out the close victory on Saturday.

The game was tied 54-54 in the final 4:00, but the Gusties used a game-closing 8-3 run highlighted by strong defense to take the victory.

The Tommies (6-1, 3-1) were outscored 18-3 from 3-point range and made 6-of-7 free throws to 14-of-20 made by the Gusties. The Toms outrebounded GAC 32-26 and had a 19-14 edge in bench points, but had 21 turnovers. They sank just 1-of-11 from behind the arc, far below their 45-percent season clip coming in.

Brynne Rolland had a game-best 21 points plus five boards, and freshman guard Madi Schirmer had a career-best 11 points off the bench for the Tommies.

St. Thomas played its fourth consecutive game without injured standout Kaia Porter, one of the two juniors on a roster with no seniors. Of Saturday's 57 points, 52 came from freshmen and sophomores.

Coach Ruth Sinn's Tommies had 20-0 runs in the regular-season and playoffs each of the last three years in the conference. After the Bethel loss the 2015-16 team won their last 14 against league foes to start the streak, and after a 60-0 run over the next three seasons, started this season with three conference wins in recent weeks.