Junior center Hannah Spaulding had a game-best 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks to lead No. 12-ranked St. Thomas to a 61-45 win over third-place Gustavus in Wednesday's MIAC women's basketball play in Schoenecker Arena.
St. Thomas secured an MIAC playoff spot with 24 days left in the regular season. Coach Ruth Sinn's team has won nine in a row on the season, 45 in a row against MIAC opponents, and 21 consecutive January games.
Gustavus (14-4, 8-3) never led and never got closer than seven in the second half. The Gusties had only 12 turnovers and had a 35-33 rebounding edge but shot just 29 percent from the floor. Miranda Rice had 13 points and seven boards and Mikayla Miller added 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists for GAC.
The Toms helped limit the Gusties to their lowest offensive outout in 61 games since they scored just 45 in a January 2016 road loss to St. Thomas.
Spaulding leads all NCAA women's players at all levels in field-goal shooting. She converted 9-of-11 on the game to improve to 71.6 percent.
The Toms lead second-place St. Ben's by one game. They are home Saturday to face Hamline.