ST. PETER, Minn. – Skylar Tsutsui (So./Northridge, Calif./Harvard Westlake) scored 18 of her game-high 21 points in the second half as the Carleton College women’s basketball team nearly erased a 17-point second-half deficit before absorbing a 62-58 loss at Gustavus Adolphus College.
The Gusties (15-9, 14-7 MIAC) used a 14-2 run early in the first half to open up a double-digit margin and led 36-21 at the break. The hosts scored the initial points of the second half and still possessed a 15-point advantage with 9:15 remaining in the contest. The Knights (6-18, 6-15 MIAC) decided it was time to mount a comeback, and the defense stiffened while the offense heated up.
The Gusties converted only 1-of their next-11 shots, while the Knights went 5-of-9 over the same stretch to close within 56-51 with 3:40 still to play. Gustavus pushed the lead back out to nine with 3:00 on the clock, but five straight points by Tsutsui brought the Knights within 60-56 with 1:45 remaining.
Neither team scored until Jenny Ramey’s (Jr./Cottage Grove, Minn./New Life Academy) layup made it a one-possession game with 0:08 to go, but Julia Dysthe sealed the victory with a pair of late free throws.
After shooting under 35 percent in the first half, the Knights made 52 percent of their attempts during the second period.
Tsutsui’s 21-point effort equaled her season high and matched the third-highest total of her career. Gabbi Stienstra (Fy./St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha) and Emma Purfeerst (Jr./River Falls, Wis./River Falls) added eight points to the Carleton attack.
Abby Rothenbuehler notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. She was one of four Gusties in double figures.
Carleton will conclude the season by hosting playoff-bound Hamline University on Saturday, Feb. 16. The women’s-men’s doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. Knights Online will feature live video and live stats for both games.