St. Olaf erupts for 97-77 victory over Johnson & Wales

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The St. Olaf College women's basketball team put up its highest point total in nearly 20 years in a 97-77 victory over Johnson & Wales University (Colo.) to close out the Rocky Mountain Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday afternoon at Reid Arena.

St. Olaf (2-4) had six double-digit scorers, including all five starters as the Oles racked up 97 points, the program's most points in a game since a 110-50 victory over St. Catherine University on Dec. 12, 1998. Brianna Bailey and Katey Guzman combined for 49 points for Johnson & Wales (0-4) in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

First year K'Lynn Lewis matched her career-high 19 points from the day, making 5-of-7 tries from behind the arc, while adding six rebounds and four assists. Junior Britta Koenen recorded 15 points and classmate Samantha Tisa came off the bench to contribute 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Sophomore Keegan Mulvihill pitched in with 13 points, four rebounds and five assists., while senior Makenna Ash had 13 points and a career-high 18 rebounds in just 16 minutes. Junior Ella Skrien was the sixth Ole in double figures with 11 points.

Ash's 18 boards were the most by a St. Olaf student-athlete since Betsey Daly had 18 against Martin Luther on Dec. 13, 2016 and helped the Oles to a 58-28 advantage on the glass. Ash had eight of her team's 23 offensive rebounds in the game.

St. Olaf jumped out to a 24-10 lead after the first quarter, as Lewis hit three three-pointers in the opening 10 minutes. The Oles led just 12-8 before a 12-0 run late in the quarter that included two threes from Lewis and one from Mulvihill. St. Olaf had seven assists on nine baskets in the first quarter.

A coast-to-coast layup by Skrien gave St. Olaf a 35-19 lead with 5:40 to go in the second quarter, marking the Oles' largest lead of the game at the time. Johnson & Wales, however, responded with a 13-1 run to get within four, 36-32, as Guzman had eight points during the run. St. Olaf scored the next nine points and took a 45-34 lead at the half.

The Oles came out of the break by scoring 10-straight points to open up a 55-34 advantage with 6:40 left in the third before a Guzman three-pointer ended the Wildcats' drought. Mulvihill came back with a three-point play on the next possession and St. Olaf led by at least 20 and as many as 30 over the final 16-plus minutes of the game.

The Oles outscored the Wildcats 50-24 in the paint in the game and made a season-high 10 three-pointers on the afternoon. Guzman had 16 of her 24 points in the opening half for Johnson & Wales, while Bailey scored 15 of her game-high 25 in the second half.

St. Olaf opens Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) play at Macalester College on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. in St. Paul.