In a game that was played with NCAA Tournament intensity, #16 Buena Vista defeated #20 Gustavus 54-45 in St. Peter on Tuesday night. The Gusties’ Doug Espenson led all scorers with 17 points, while the Beavers were led by Michael Cameron with 13 and Randy Bissen with 12. Buena Vista improves to 3-0 overall, while the Gusties fall 1-1 overall.
The two teams mixed it up from the start as 10 fouls were called in the first six minutes of the contest. The Gusties went on an 8-2 run at the 16:17 mark and held a 12-9 lead with 13:42 left in the half. Buena Vista countered with a 7-0 run to take a 16-12 lead at 10:43 and claimed its biggest lead of the first half at 10 (28-18) with 2:04 left. A three-point basket by Reece Viet at the buzzer gave the Beavers a 31-23 lead at the intermission.
Buena Vista charged to a 12-point lead (37-25) in the first three minutes of the second half, but the Gusties countered with a 10-2 run over the next six minutes and trailed 39-35 with 11:54 left in the game. The Beavers maintained a 4 to 7 point lead through most of the second half. The Gusties trailed 49-45 and had a chance to cut the lead to three with :48 left in the contest, but Doug Espenson missed the front end of a one-and-one. Buena Vista went on to score the final five points to post the 54-45 victory.
The physical contest was marred by 45 fouls (23 for Buena Vista and 22 for Gustavus) and 45 turnovers (23 for Gustavus and 22 for Buena Vista). The Beavers outrebounded the Gusties 47-37. Neither team shot very well from the field as Buena Vista made 17-of-55 (.309) and Gustavus made 17-of-52 (.327). The difference in the game turned out to be at the free throw line as the Beavers made 19-of-27 (.704), while the Gusties made only 6-of-17 (.353).