The Gustavus men’s basketball team used a 16-3 run early in the second half to help the Gusties pick up an impressive 81-64 win over St. Olaf 81-64 in Northfield on Wednesday night. Head Coach Mark Hanson’s squad turned in a strong offensive performance, shooting 52.9 percent on 27-for-52 from the field. Gustavus, which reached the .500 mark at 5-5 overall and 4-1 in the MIAC, were led by Jesse Van Sickle with 16 points.
After gaining a three-point lead, the Gustie defense shut down the Oles for five minutes as part of a 9-0 run to help Gustavus to up by the score of 19-7 after a jumper from Mike DesLauriers with 10:34 remaining in the first half. The double-digit lead stayed intact until Mark Wieloch hit a jump shot at the end of the period as the Gusties held a 33-24 lead. Jesse Van Sickle was 4-for-5 shooting in the half for eight points, while Ryan McPartland added seven points and six rebounds.
St. Olaf made its first three shots of the game to pull within five points of Gustavus at 35-30. However, the Gusties answered with the decisive 16-3 stretch where six different players scored to make the score 51-33. The Oles cut the lead to 12 points before a three-point basket and a pair of free throws from Van Sickle triggered another 8-0 run for the biggest lead of the game at 62-41 with 9:24 left in the contest. Both teams traded baskets the rest of the way as Gustavus cruised to the 81-64 victory.
In addition to 16 points from Van Sickle, two other Gusties reached double-digits as Sam Paulson and Bobby Johnson contributed 14 and 13 points in the post, respectively. Ryan McPartland grabbed a nine boards as Gustavus held a 37-25 rebounding advantage over St. Olaf. The Oles were 40.7 percent from the field (22-of-54), but struggled from behind the three-point line making just 3-of-15. Bobby Fong led St. Olaf with 20 points followed by 10 from Matt Christensen.
Gustavus will face Hamline on Saturday at 3 p.m. in St. Paul.