The Gustavus men’s basketball team climbed to the top of the MIAC standings by holding off St. Thomas by the score of 90-80 at Gus Young Court in St. Peter Monday night. The Tommies were within three (49-46) with 15:20 remaining in the second half, but the Gusties won by 10 to move into first place in the MIAC, a half-game in front of St. Thomas. Gustavus’ Andrew Olson posted a career high 27 points including 7-of-9 from the three point line. Adam TeBrake contributed 23 points for the Gusties shooting 13-of-14 from the free throw line. Joey Shimek led the Tommies with 25 points and seven rebounds. Gustavus extended its winning streak to nine games and improved to 13-5 overall and 11-2 in the MIAC, while the Tommies have dropped three of their last four falling to 11-7 overall and 11-3 in the MIAC.
Gustavus jumped off to a quick start leading 15-9 after a jumper from Adam TeBrake with 16:11 left in the first half. With 13:18 remaining, Doug Espenson dropped in a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down to give the Gusties a double-digit lead (22-12). During the next 6:09, Gustavus went on a 12-2 run to extend its lead to 34-14. However, St. Thomas ended the final 7:09 of the first half on a 20-6 run to pull within six (40-34) at the intermission.
The Tommies pulled within three points (49-46) with 15:20 to play in the second half. However, the Gusties countered with a 25-12 run in the next 8:56 to lead 74-58 at the 6:24 mark. St. Thomas pulled within nine points during the final 5:11, but the Gusties made 77.7 percent (14-of-18) from the free throw line to ice the victory. TeBrake led the Gusties in the second half with 18 points, including 13-of-14 from the charity stripe.
Gustavus shot an impressive 52.1 percent (25-of-48) from the field, including 61.9 percent (13-of-21) from the three point arc and 79.4 percent (27-of-34) from the charity stripe. St. Thomas also shot well from the field firing 51.7 percent (31-of-60) from the field, 40 percent (6-of-15) from three point land, and 52.2 percent (12-of-23) from the line.
Andrew Olson led the Gusties offensively with a career high 27 points. Olson’s previous career high was 17 in an 81-75 loss to Carleton on January 3. Prior to Monday night, Olson was averaging only 8.4 points a game. Olson was on fire Monday shooting 7-of-9 from outside the arc to improve his season statistics to 50 percent (37-of-74) from three point range. Adam TeBrake contributed 23 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, while Doug Espenson added 17 points and five boards and Phil Sowden tallied 12 points, 4 boards, and 7 assists for the Gusties. Joey Shimek led the Tommies with 25 points and seven boards, while Sean Sweeney posted 12 points and six rebounds and Isaac Rosefelt tacked on 13 points and nine boards.
After starting league play 2-2, the Gusties have won their last nine games to improve their record to 11-2 and lead the MIAC by a half-game over the Tommies. Gustavus avenged a 62-59 loss against St. Thomas in St. Paul on December 8.
Gustavus will be in action Wednesday in Northfield against Carleton. The Knights are currently in third place in the MIAC. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.