The Gustavus men’s basketball team got back on the winning track with a convincing 69-54 win at Bethel on Wednesday night. The Gusties got balanced scoring from their starting five as Trevor Wittwer, Kane Sivesind, and Jesse Van Sickle contributed 14 points each, while Sam Paulson added 10, and Mike DesLauriers pitched in with eight. Gustavus improved to 14-4 overall and 10-3 in the MIAC.
The Gusties and Royals battled back and forth for the first nine minutes of the first half and a three-point basket by Tim Madson brought Bethel to within one point of Gustavus at 14-13 at the 9:00 minute mark. The Gusties went on a 9-2 run to extend their lead to eight points at 23-15 with six minutes left in the half. A three-point basket by Jesse Van Sickle gave Gustavus its biggest lead of the half at nine points (28-19) at the 4:05 mark. Another three-point basket by Robbie Schmidt with :14 seconds on the clock allowed the Gusties to take an 8-point lead (35-27) into the locker room at the intermission.
Gustavus extended its lead to 13 points early in the second half, but then the Royals battled back to cut the lead to seven points at 47-40 with 11:35 left in the contest. The Gusties countered with a 9-2 run over the next four minutes which led to a 14-point, 56-42 lead at the 7:44 mark. The Royals would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way. Bethel was forced to foul to get back in the game in the final four minutes and Gustavus countered by making 6-of-7 from the free throw line as it pulled away for the 15-point victory.
The Gusties get a bye this Saturday as they prepare for a challenging week that starts with a home game against Saint John’s (on Monday) and finishes with road games at Saint Mary’s (on Wednesday) and St. Thomas (on Saturday).