Gustavus Adolphus junior Phil Wirtjes hit a 50-foot shot with 0:00.8 seconds left on the clock to give the Gusties a 57-54 overtime win over Concordia Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minn. Wirtjes took the inbounds pass from Dan Schmidtknecht at the halfcourt line, turned and fired up a prayer that found the bottom of the net as the buzzer sounded. Ryan McPartland was the leading scorer for the Gusties, shooting 8-12 from the field and tallying 17 points and five rebounds.
The Gusties and Cobbers traded points until 15:09 mark of the first half, when Gustavus went on an 11-0 run to build a 17-6 lead with 13:00 minutes left in the half. Jesse Van Sickle hit a jumper with 0:02 seconds left in the half to give the Gusties a 31-21 lead heading into halftime. Gustavus shot 39.4% (13-33) in the first half, as McPartland and Tyler Grey led the team in scoring. McPartland shot 5-8 from the field, scoring eleven points in the half, as Grey went 3-5 from the field and 2-3 from behind the arch for eight points. Concordia’s John Fraase had 10 points going 5-11 from the field in the half.
The Gustavus lead lingered around nine points for the first twelve minutes of the second half. Concordia made a final surge with 8:00 minutes to play as it was led by junior Darrin Olmscheid who went 6-10 from the field, scoring a game high 13 points in the half. Gustavus committed six turnovers in the final eight minutes of play as Concordia made a 12-3 run to close the half. Gustavus lost the lead on an Olmscheid jumper with 1:12 remaining in the game, making the game 50-49 with under one minute to play. Gustavus guard Dan Schmidtknecht hit one of two free throws after he was fouled on the ensuing possession and the game went into overtime with the score tied 50-50. Concordia outshot the Gusties 50% (12-24) to 38.9% (7-18) in the second half.
Concordia rode the momentum gained during regulation into overtime, taking a 54-50 lead with 1:53 remaining in the game. Olmscheid scored the Cobber’s only four points in overtime, shooting 2-3 from the field. A layup by Ryan McPartland and a jumper by Tyler Gray tied the game at 54-54 with 0:13 seconds left overtime. Concordia missed a three pointer on the next possession and Schmidtknecht secured the rebound with less than one second left on the clock. With the buzzer-beater by Wirtjes, Gustavus has beaten Concordia 18 straight times on Gus Young Court.
The Gusties finished the game shooting 39.7% (25-58) from the field as Concordia shot 42.1% (24-57). The Cobbers had two players in the double figures as Olmscheid scored 21 points and John Fraase scored 14 points. Gustavus’s Tyler Grey finished the game with ten points and Adam Michel scored nine points in the game.
The Gusties will be in action next on Monday Dec. 7th, against St. Mary’s at 7:30pm in St. Peter, Minn.