St. Peter, Minn. – After a bout of cold shooting plagued them on Saturday afternoon at Gus Young Court, the Gustavus men’s basketball fell 68-52 to Bethel University. The Gusties shot just 29.6-percent from the field in the second half. In a playoff type atmosphere, Bethel played as if it was a playoff game – setting a physical tone from the start and winning the rebounding and turnover battles.
“They played like it was a playoff game and we didn’t. We played a little soft today and hopefully that is a lesson learned,” said Head Coach Mark Hanson.
With the loss, Gustavus splits the 2011-12 MIAC Championship with St. Thomas, finishing the regular season 19-6 overall and 16-4 in the MIAC. Since Gustavus and the Tommies split their regular season series, they went to the fourth tiebreaking criteria, which is record against teams below in descending order. St. Thomas swept third-place St. Olaf, while Gustavus split with the Oles to put the Tommies in the No. 1 spot, and Gustavus at No. 2.
Bethel improves to 15-10 overall and 11-9 in the MIAC with the victory, securing the No. 6 seed in the MIAC Playoffs.
“It was a physical game and we lost the physical battles. We fouled them too much, we didn’t get the loose balls, and we didn’t get the second rebounds,” said Hason. “Our shooting didn’t come out in the second half, but a lot of that was on them.”
Gustavus’ point total of 52 is a season low, as is the squad’s 38.9-percent (21-54) shooting performance in the game. The also shot 27.3-percent (3-11) from three-point range, and 63.6-percent (7-11) at the line in the game.
Two key areas in which the Royals took advantage were points off turnovers and points in the paint. Bethel scored 17 points off turnovers and outscored the Gusties 24-to-8 on the blocks.
Bethel finished 50.9-percent (27-53) from the floor, 25-percent (2-8) from behind the arc, and 60-percent (12-20) at the line. The Gusties committed 13 turnovers and were outrebounded 34-to-30.
After a back-and-forth opening ten minutes of the contest, the Royals used a 6-0 run to lead 25-18 by the 7:06 mark of the half. The Gusties responded with a 6-0 run of their own three minutes later to cut the lead to 29-28. Following a jumper by Seth Anderson with :33 seconds on the clock, the two teams would head to the locker rooms with Bethel on top 31-30.
Anderson led all scorers in the first half with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Bethel had a slight shooting edge in the opening half at 48.3-to-48.1-percent.
The Gusties couldn’t seem to find their groove in the second half either, falling behind eight points (40-32) by the 15:56 mark. Gustavus would put together small runs over the course of the next five-minutes, yet couldn’t get the big stop when it mattered most. The Royals would hold on to the double-digit lead for the remainder of the game following a three-pointer by Taylor Hall that put them up 56-44 with 8:12 left in the contest. A late 8-2 run by Bethel extended the lead to 66-50 with 1:28 left in the game.
Seth Anderson led all scorers in the game with 25 points on 11-of-23 shooting. No other Gustavus player scored more than five points, as Paul Blacklock and Jim Hill brought down a team-high seven rebounds.
Taylor Hall and Daniel Baah led the way for the Bethel with 20 and 16 points, respectively. Hall went 8-for-19 from the field and grabbed eight boards, while Baah went 6-for-12 and had a game-high four steals.
It was senior day at Gus Young Court, as seven senior basketball players were honored for their commitment and dedication to the Gustavus men’s basketball program. The Athletic Departemt would like to extend a sincere thank you to Tyler Grey, Seth Anderson, Ty Moore, Adam Michel, Ryan Nett, Bobby Johnson, and Paul Blocklock.
“What fans get to see is just a small portion of who these senior are are and what they’ve meant to us as coaches and the whole program,” remarked Hanson. “Individually, every one of them is an outstanding young man. We’ll miss them in many different ways, but hopefully they have a few more games to play.”
The Gustavus men’s basketball team will host the second-lowest remainig seed form Wednesday night’s quarterfinals games. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.