The Gustavus men’s basketball team extended its win streak to 11 games with a 69-50 win over Saint Mary’s in Winona, Minn. on Saturday afternoon. Doug Espenson scored 32 points to lead the Gusties and match his career high for points in a game. Gustavus is now 15-5 overall and 13-2 in the MIAC.
Espenson was red hot from the start of the game as he scored 17 of the team’s first 20 points. He finished the first half with 22 points shooting 7-of-9 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free throw line. The Gusties led 35-25 at the intermission.
Saint Mary’s scored the first four points of the second half to cut the Gustavus lead to six at 35-29, however that is as close as the Cardinals would get the rest of the game. The Gusties would slowly build their lead to 15 points at 50-35 with 11:09 remaining. Coach Mark Hanson’s squad maintained that 15 point lead the rest of the game increasing it to as many as 19 points on several occassions.
Espenson scored 10 points in the second half to finish with 32. Ironically, Espenson’s previous career high was also 32 points, which he scored last year at Saint Mary’s. The only other Gustie in double figures was Andrew Olson with 13. Gustavus shot 54.3 percent from the field (25-46) and 77.4 percent from the free throw line (17-22).
Gustavus will host Bethel in a very important MIAC matchup on Monday night at 7:30 pm at Gus Young Court. The Gusties enter the final two weeks of regular season play in first place in the MIAC with a record of 13-2. Saint Thomas is one-half game back at 13-3.
After Bethel on Monday, the Gusties will complete their regular season schedule at St. Olaf on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at Augsburg on Monday, Feb. 14, at Macalester on Wednesday, Feb. 16 and at home against Saint John’s on Saturday, Feb. 19.