The Gustavus men’s basketball team led by only one point at halftime, but outscored Hamline 42-25 in the second half to win 70-52 in its first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game of the season. The Gusties had four players in double figures including sophomore Trevor Wittwer with a season-high 17 points. With the win Wednesday on Gus Young Court in St. Peter, Gustavus improves to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC, while Hamline drops to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in league play.
The Gusties jumped out to a 9-4 lead five minutes into the first half. Gustavus extended its lead to 10 points (21-11) with 8:12 remaining before halftime. However, the Pipers put together a 16-7 rally in the final eight minutes to pull within one as the Gusties took a 28-27 advantage into the locker room. The Pipers were led by freshman David Johnson who scored 15 points in the half on 7-for-9 shooting from the field. Wittwer and Andrew Olson each contributed 10 and nine points, respectively, for Gustavus.
The Gusties opened the first six minutes of the second half on an 11-3 run which increased their lead over Hamline to 39-30. A Phil Sowden jumper gave Gustavus an 18-point lead with 6:33 remaining in the contest. The Gusties extended their lead to a game-high 21 points (65-44) with 3:16 remaining in the game and went on to claim a 70-52 victory.
The Gusties shot 47.5 percent (19-40) from the field, 30 percent (3-10) from behind the arc, and 80.6 percent (29-36) from the free throw line. Hamline shot 32.7 percent (18-55) from the field, 8.3 percent (1-12) from three-point range, and an impressive 88.2 percent (15-17) from the charity stripe. The Gusties held a 30-12 advantage over the Pipers in points off turnovers.
Wittwer led the Gusties offensively with 17 points, while Olson added 16, Sowden 13, and Adam TeBrake 12. Wittwer also added nine rebounds.
Johnson, who scored 15 points in the first half, finished with 17 points to lead the Pipers. Teammate Jon DeRock contributed 13 points.
Wittwer leads the MIAC in field goal percentage connecting on 17-of-18 from the field this season, including a 6-for-6 showing Wednesday.
Gustavus, which is now 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC, will be in action Saturday in St. Peter against Concordia at 3:15 p.m. The Gusties will conclude their four-game homestand with an MIAC game against St. Thomas on Wednesday (12/7) at 8 p.m.