The Gustavus men’s basketball team fended off a late rally by the Macalester Scots to win its fifth consecutive MIAC game Monday night in St. Peter. The Scots led 64-63 with 5:23 to play, but the Gusties finished the game on a 15-6 run to win 78-70. Gustavus was led by sophomore Phil Sowden with a career-high 27 points, while senior Doug Espenson added 24 points and 12 boards. The Scots were led by first year forward Tom Conboy with career highs in points (28) and rebounds (12). The Gusties improved to 9-5 overall and 7-2 in the MIAC, while Macalester fell to 5-9 overall and 4-5 in the conference.
Doug Espenson scored Gustavus’ first seven points in the first half to pull the Gusties within three (10-7) with 4:50 off the clock. Macalester saw its last lead of the first half disappear with 11:13 to play (17-16) off a jumper by Phil Sowden. The Gusties finished the final 11:13 on a 23-16 run capped off by a three-point shot from Phil Sowden to beat the buzzer giving the Gusties their largest lead of the night (40-32) heading into halftime. Phil Sowden led the Gusties with 18 points and four rebounds in the first half, while Doug Espenson added ten points, four boards, and three assists. Tom Conboy led the Scots with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Macalester started the first 3:59 of the second half on a 10-6 run to pull within four (46-42). The Gusties were up 50-42 with 14:52 to play, but the Scots went on an 8-2 run to pull within two (52-50) with 11:28 remaining. Following an 8-2 Gustavus run, Macalester pulled to within one (60-59) with 7:41 to play and claimed its first lead (64-63) since early in the first half. A technical foul was called on Macalester head coach Curt Kietzer with 1:37 to play after a foul was called on Chris Dwyer, giving the Gusties two free throws for Adam TeBrake in addition to two free throws for Doug Espenson because of the shooting foul. Gustavus finished the final 5:23 on a 15-6 rally to beat the Scots 78-70.
Gustavus shot 50 percent (27-of-54) from the field, 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from the three point line, and 73 percent (19-of-26) from the free throw line. Macalester shot 49 percent (24-of-49) from the field, 23.5 percent (4-of-17) from behind the arc, and 78.3 percent (18-of-23) from the charity stripe.
The Gusties were led by Phil Sowden with a career-high 27 points. Sowden also recorded nine rebounds and four assists. Doug Espenson added 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Adam TeBrake tallied 14 points and three assists. Tom Conboy led the Scots with 28 points and 12 rebounds, which are both career highs. Erik Jackson, Brendan Bosman, and Will Moeller each added nine points for the Scots.
Head coach Mark Hanson reached a significant milestone in the game as he recorded his 293rd win at Gustavus. Hanson passed former head coach Whitey Skoog (1957-81) for most career coaching victories in Golden Gustie men’s basketball history with the victory Monday night against Macalester.
The Gusties will be in action Wednesday night in Collegeville against Saint John’s University at 7:30 p.m.