Second chances, points off turnovers push women's hoops past Augsburg

Second chances, points off turnovers push women's hoops past Augsburg

MINNEAPOLIS – Kaitlin Langer, Hannah Spaulding and Gabby Zehrer each scored 14 points to lead No. 6-ranked St Thomas to a 69-60 road win over previously-unbeaten Augsburg on Saturday afternoon at Si Melby Hall.

The Tommies (5-0 overall, 2-0 MIAC) were outscored 27-12 from 3-point range but had a 40-25 rebounding advantage and made 13-of-16 free throws.

St. Thomas jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead in the opening minutes of the contest.  Three layups and a three-pointer from Lauren Fischer helped build the early lead, which stretched to as many as 15 points (24-9) before Arianna Jones hit a last-second three to trim the lead to 24-12 at the end of the first quarter.

In the quarter, the Tommies shot 58.8-percent (10-17) from the floor and forced nine Augsburg turnover.  But the comfortable lead would not last.  After Hannah Spaulding opened the second quarter with a layup to push the lead to 14 points (26-12), the Auggies took off an a 15-2 run that sliced the lead to just one (28-27).  A trio of threes spurred the run, which brought the score to its narrowest margin of the afternoon.

From there, St. Thomas finished the half with an 8-4 advantage to take a five-point lead into the break.  After the hot first quarter, the Tommie shooting cooled off to 30-percent (6-20), while the Auggies warmed up to shoot 53.3-percent (8-15) from the field, including a 3-for-5 mark from deep.

The two teams went back and forth through the third quarter.  The Tommies built the lead to as many as 10 before the Auggies dwindled the difference back down to five points heading to the final frame.

With 3:49 to play in regulation, Arianna Jones cut the St. Thomas lead to four (62-58) on a three-pointer, but the Tommies responded with a 7-2 run, including a 5-for-6 mark from the free throw line, to close out the game and secure the nine-point win.

St. Thomas shot 43.3-percent (26-60) from the floor on the afternoon and just 30.8-percent (4-13) from three, but connected on 81.3-percent (13-16) of its free throws.  In comparison, Augsburg shot 47.1-percent (24-51) from the field and 50-percent (9-18) from deep, but attempted just six free throws the entire afternoon, making three for a 50-percent clip.

The Tommies also forced 24 Auggie turnovers that led to a 34-16 advantage in points off turnovers.  St. Thomas also grabbed a 40-25 advantage in the rebound battle, including 19 offensive rebounds.  Those second chances led to an 18-2 count in second-chance points. 

Kaitlin Langer, Gabby Zehrer, and Hannah Spauling each scored 14 points to lead the Tommie offensive attack.  The three combined to go 18-for-33 (54.5%) from the floor.  Langer added a team-high seven rebounds and Zehrer recorded five assists.

Camryn Speese led the Auggies with a game-high 15 points on a perfect six-for-six outing from the floor.  Arianna Johnes followed with 12 points thanks to a 4-for-4 mark from downtown, and Tamira McLemore added 11 points. 

St. Thomas will be back in action on Wednesday night when the Tommie women travel to Hamline for a 7:00 pm tip.