The Gustavus men’s basketball team survived a 14-0 Bethel run during a 5:44 span in the second half to win 65-63 and stay atop the MIAC standings with its league-best 12th straight victory. Adam TeBrake led Gustavus offensively with 23 points and four assists, while Doug Espenson added 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists for Gustavus. Travis Jones led the Royals with 21 points. Gustavus head coach Mark Hanson, in his 15th season, recorded his 300th career victory. Hanson has a career tally of 300-109 (.733). Gustavus improved to 16-5 overall and 14-2 in the MIAC, while Bethel dropped to 15-6 overall and 10-6 in the MIAC.
Gustavus got out of the gates quickly on a 7-0 run before Bethel dropped its first hoop with 16:57 left in the first half. The Gusties earned a 15-9 lead before going on an 8-0 run to lead 23-9 with 9:28 remaining. After a brief 5-0 Bethel run, the Gusties countered with a 7-0 run to lead 32-14. Bethel responded with a 7-0 run, but the Gusties turned around and scored 11 consecutive points between 4:43 and 2:32 to lead 43-21. The Gusties went into the intermission leading 45-26.
The Gusties maintained a 17-point lead with 11:35 remaining in the game after a jumper by Doug Espenson. The Royals went on an offensive attack outscoring Gustavus 14-0 over a six-minute span. Andrew Olson hit a three-point shot to end the Gustavus drought making the score 63-57. The Royals pulled within two points with 1:22 remaining in the game but never led in the contest as the Gusties won 65-63.
Gustavus shot 48.1 percent (25-52) from the field, only 27.3 percent (6-22) from three-point land, and 69.2 percent (9-13) from the free throw line. The Royals tallied 43.9 percent (25-57) from the field, an impressive 56.3 percent (9-16) from behind the three-point arc, and 80 percent (4-5) from the charity stripe.
Adam TeBrake led the Gusties with 23 points and four assists, while Doug Espenson added 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Phil Sowden tacked on nine points and 10 rebounds. Travis Jones recorded 21 points and four rebounds for Bethel, while Matt Fredrickson added nine points and Charles Meadowcroft, Isaac Hinrichs, and Tim Gilbert each added seven points.
The win was particularly special for Hanson as it was the 300th of his career. He becomes the fifth coach in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference history to reach the 300-win plateau joining Joe Hutton of Hamline, Jim Smith of Saint John’s, and Tom Feeley and Steve Fritz of St. Thomas. Hanson is the only active coach in Division III with less than 15 full years of coaching to have posted 300 wins and his winning percentage of .732 ranks 10th all-time in Division III.
Gustavus leads the MIAC at 14-2 overall by a half-game over St. Thomas (14-3 overall). The Gusties play host to St. Olaf on Wednesday night starting at 7:30 p.m. Gustavus beat the Ole’s in Northfield 70-67 on January 12.