ST. PAUL – Seniors Gabby Zehrer and Kaitlin Langer combined to score 50 points to boost the St. Thomas women's basketball team to a 77-57 win over Saint Mary's University on Wednesday night at Schoenecker Arena. With the win, the Tommies improve to 15-0 overall and 9-0 in the MIAC, while Saint Mary's drops to 11-5 on the year and 5-4 in league play.
Zehrer opened the game with the first 13 points for St. Thomas, which built an early 13-4 lead. Zehrer teamed up with fellow senior Kaitlin Langer to score 21 of the team's first 24 points as the Tommies took their largest lead of the early going into the second half with a 27-13 advantage.
Zehrer finished the quarter with 17 points. Langer took over in the second frame, scoring eight of St. Thomas' 18 points as the Tommies went on to build a 45-29 lead headed into halftime. The Purple led by as many as 22 points in the second quarter before the Cardinals closed the half with five straight points.
In the half, the two combined to score 32 of St. Thomas' 45 points, and also grabbed 11 rebounds, as Langer nearly tallied a double-double in the first half alone with 12 points and nine boards. The Tommies shot an even 50-percent from the field in the opening half, and outrebounded the Cardinals 25-12.
St. Thomas pushed its lead to 21 points when Langer converted on another layup at the 6:04 mark of the third quarter, but the Cardinals scored the next seven consecutive points and nine of the final 11 in the quarter to cut the lead to 14 (58-44) headed to the fourth.
But the Tommies had the answer, rattling off the first seven points, five from Zehrer and a pair of free throws from Langer, to open up a 21-point lead once again less than two minutes into the final frame. From there, St. Thomas would lead by as many as 22 points, but never less than 19 in the win.
Zehrer finished with a career-high 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including a 4-of-8 mark from three and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Langer put up her fifth double-double of the season with 23 points and 12 boards. It is the 21st of her career wearing the purple and gray. Tonight, Langer's double-double came in efficient fashion, shooting 9-of-13 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 from the line.
As a team, the Tommies shot 43.5-percent (27-62) from the field and hit seven triples (7-22, 31.8%), while connecting on 94.1-percent (16-17) of their free throws. On the flip side, the Cardinals finished with a 38.9-percent (21-54) mark from the field and went just 5-of-21 (23.8%) from deep.
St. Thomas also finished with a 42-29 advantage on the glass, including an 11-4 mark on the offensive boards. It also committed 12 turnovers to Saint Mary's 17.
The Tommie women will be back in action again on Saturday when they play host to Augsburg at 1:00 pm at Schoenecker Arena.