The Gustavus men’s basketball team shot 64.3 percent from the field (27-42) and 75.0 percent from behind the arc (6-8) and still had to battle to slip past a feisty Concordia squad 87-80 in St. Peter on Saturday afternoon. Gustavus was led by AdamTeBrake with 21 and Trevor Wittwer with 19. Concordia was led by Keith Eckhoff with 34. The Gusties are now 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the MIAC, while the Cobbers fall to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the MIAC.
The Gusties got off to a quick start in the contest jumping out to an 11-3 lead in the first five minutes of play. Trent Hollerich was the early catalyst for Gustavus as he scored the first four points on a three-point basket and a free throw. Midway through the half, Concordia’s Mark Dixon knocked down a three-point basket to cut the Gustie lead to five at 23-18. Gustavus, however countered with a 19-8 run over the next five minutes to extent its lead to 16 at 42-26 with 4:39 remaining. Concordia finished the half on an 11-4 run to cut the Gustie lead to nine at 46-37 at the intermission. Gustavus shot a sizzling 77.3 percent from the field in the first half (17-22).
Concordia used a 15-7 run in the first five minutes of the second half to cut the Gustavus lead to one at 53-52 with 14:57 left on the clock. The Gusties then went on a 7-1 run and extended their lead back to seven at 60-53 with 13:09 remaining in the game. Concordia would get back to within three points at 64-61 at the 9:41 mark, but a Adam TeBrake jumper the next time down the floor would push the lead to five and that is as close as the Cobbers would get the rest of the game. A free throw by Trevor Wittwer gave Gustavus a 10-point lead at 83-73 with 1:07 left in the game and the Gusties held on for the seven-point victory 87-80. Gustavus made 10-of-15 free throws in the final five minutes of the game and 27-of-40 overall.
The Gusties placed four players in double figures including TeBrake with 21, Wittwer with 19, Andrew Olson with 13, and Phil Sowden with 11. Wittwer’s 19 was a career high. Concordia was led by Keith Eckhoff with 34 points, while Mark Dixon contributed 16, and Luke Linz added 15.
Gustavus claimed its ninth consecutive win over the Cobbers dating back to February of 2001.