The Gustavus men’s basketball team used a strong second half to earn an 86-70 victory on the road against Macalester Saturday afternoon in St. Paul. Trailing by 11 at halftime, the Gusties outscored the Scots 50-to-23 in the second half on the way to their third conference victory in a row. Seth Anderson reached the 30-point plateau for the fourth time this season, scoring a game-high 33 points after going 12-of-17 from the field and 9-of-10 at the free throw line.
Gustavus improves to 6-2 in the MIAC and 9-4 overall with the victory, while Macalester drops to 1-7 in the MIAC and 1-12 overall with the loss.
The Scots opened up a 22-10 lead after a 17-to-6 run in the opening eight minutes of the first half. A three-pointer by Pierce Peters at the 9:41 mark gave Macalester its largest lead of the game at 31-12.
The Gusties battled back to trim the lead to eight points (33-25) after Jim Hill capped a 13-to-2 run with a three-pointer with 5:04 left in the half. The Scots responded with five unanswered points and would take an 11-point lead into halftime.
Macalester was on fire in the first half, shooting 76-percent (19-25) from the field and 80-percent (8-10) from beyond the arc. Gustavus shot 50-percent (15-30) from the floor and was 3-for-4 from three. Macalester’s Pierce Peters led all scorers in the half with 19 points after going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and 5-for-5 from three-point range.
The Gusties came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, cutting the lead Scot to four (49-45) before using a 10-to-2 run that gave them their first lead of the game at 55-54 (13:03).
A layup by Ben Biewen at the 11:46 mark opened the floodgates and sparked a 16-to-2 run that put the Gusties on top 73-58 with 7:29 left to play. A layup by Reed Sallstrom with 5:19 on the clock gave Gustavus its largest lead of the game at 17 points (79-62).
The Gusties shot a white-hot 70.4-percent from the field inside their 50-point second half. Macalester cooled down to shoot just .27.3-percent in the frame.
Twenty-three of Anderson’s 33 points came in the second half. The senior went a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and was 7-for-8 at the charity stripe.
Tyler Grey finished behind Anderson in scoring, knocking down four triples and dropping a season-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Grey’s point total tonight was just three points shy of his career-high of 19.
Ten different Gustavus players hit the scoresheet with points tonight. Reed Sallstrom also reached double-figures with 10 points (4-7), while Jim Hill scored seven (3-7) and Adam Michel added six (3-5). Paul Blacklock led the team with five rebounds while Anderson, Biewen, and Ty Moore each had four assists.
Gustavus recorded season-highs of .596 (34-57) shooting from the field and .600 (6-10) shooting from three-point range. The Gusties went 12-for-15 at the line.
Pierce Peters led the Scots with 31 points after a 9-for-12 night from the field. He went 6-for-8 from three and 7-for-9 at the line while bringing down seven boards. Sam Marshall also reached double-digits with 16 points (8-13).
Macalester went 25-for-47 (.532) from the field, 9-for-17 (.529) from downtown, and 11-for-20 (.550) at the line.
The Gustavus men’s basketball team will return to Gus Young Court on Monday, Jan. 16 to take on Concordia at 7:45 p.m.