Much like its first meeting with Saint Mary’s this season, the Gustavus men’s basketball team used a strong defensive effort and took advantage of a cold Cardinal shooting performance to cruise to a 64-44 victory on Wednesday night in Winona, Minn. Seth Anderson and Jim Hill led the way in scoring after a pair of big first half performances. Anderson finished with a game-high 19 points while Hill dropped a season-high 16 points.
Gustavus extends its winning-streak to five games, improving to 16-5 overall and 13-3 in the MIAC. Saint Mary’s drops to 5-16 overall and 5-11 in the MIAC with the loss.
A total of just 19 points were scored between the two teams through the opening 8:45 of the contest. A jumper by Michael Burfeind with 11:15 on the clock would cut the Gustavus lead to 10-9. From that point, a pair of layups, the first by Ben Biewen and the second by Anderson, would spark two scoring runs (14-5 and 14-3) that put Gustavus on top 38-19 at the break.
Anderson, who scored 12 points in the final 10-minutes of the frame, finished with 17 points in the half after going 8-for-11 from the field. Hill added 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Gustavus shot 51.6-percent from the field, while holding the Cardinals to a cold 25.8-percent from the floor.
Saint Mary’s would cut the lead to 13 points (44-31) by the 13:22 mark of the second half. That would be all the closer the Cardinals would get, as the Gusties answered with a 13-1 run to extend their lead to 57-32 with 6:20 remaining.
Paul Blacklock continued to control the boards, leading the team in rebounds for the fourth consecutive game. Blacklock brought down 10 rebounds in the second half alone, finishing the game with a season-high 15 (5 defensive, 10 offensive). The senior post filled out the box score by adding eight points and four blocked shots.
Anderson’s 19 points came on 9-of-17 shooting, while Hill scored 16 and finished 7-of-12 from the field.
The Gusties turned in a season-high 50 rebounds compared to Saint Mary’s 31 in the contest. After shooting 38.7-percent from the field in the second half, Gustavus finished the game 28-for-62 (45.3%) from the floor, 1-for-9 (11.1%) from three-point range, and 7-for-14 (50%) at the free throw line.
The Cardinals were led in scoring by Michael Burfeind who scored 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting. His team went 17-for-59 (28.8%) from the field, 3-for-14 (21.4%) from three, and 7-10 (70%) from the line.
The first place Gusties will be back on the hardwood Saturday, Feb. 11th when they take on Macalester at 3:00 p.m. on Gus Young Court.