The Gustavus men’s basketball team maintained its one game lead atop the MIAC standings with a 64-52 win over Saint Mary’s at Gus Young Court on Saturday night. In a game marred by 48 fouls (29 against St. Mary’s, 19 against Gustavus), both teams struggled to gather any momentum in either half. Three players fouled out for the Cardinals and one for the Gusties. The important result for Gustavus was the victory that moved them one step closer to claiming the regular season MIAC title. The Gusties are now 17-5 overall and 15-2 in the MIAC, while the Cardinals fall to 5-18 overall and 4-14 in the MIAC.
The first half was all Gustavus, as the Gusties jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first minute of play. A steal by Brett Boese that led to a breakaway layup by Seth Midura extended the Gustavus lead to 11 points at 19-8 with 11:45 left in the first half. Leading 27-18 with 6:43 left before the intermission, Gustavus put together a 10-0 run that pushed the lead to 19 points at 37-18 with :46 seconds left. Saint Mary’s scored only two points in the final seven minutes of the half and that was on a jumper by Travis Simmering with :06 left on the clock. The Gusties led 37-20 at the break.
The Gusties held their double-digit lead throughout the first ten minutes of the second half, but the Cardinals slowly whittled the lead to 10 points (50-40) at the 8:48 mark. Saint Mary’s cut the lead to seven points (59-52) on a three-point play by Jeff Tendall with 2:30 left to play, but Gustavus outscored the Cardinals 5-0 the rest of the way to claim the 64-52 victory.
Tim Brown led Gustavus in scoring with 23 points. Brown was seven-of-13 from the field and seven-of-eight from the free throw line. The Gusties made 20-of-46 shots from the field (43.5%) and 20-of-33 from the free throw line (60.6%).
Jeff Tendall led St. Mary’s in scoring with 19 points. Tendall was six-of-12 from the field and six-of-six from the free throw line. The Cardinals converted 18-of-41 shots from the field (43.9%) and 15-of-20 from the free throw line (75.0%).