The Gustavus men’s basketball team’s hopes of finishing third in the final MIAC regular season standings were dashed by Saint John’s who handed the Gusties a 72-68 loss in Collegeville on Saturday afternoon. Gustavus had several chances to escape with the win, but could not come up with the big play to secure victory. The Gusties will now host Bethel on Tuesday night at 7:30 pm on Gus Young Court in the first round of the MIAC Playoffs.
The Gusties got off to a slow start and trailed by as many as nine points in the first half. Trailing 30-23 with five minutes left in the half, Gustavus used a 7-0 run to tie the score at 30-30 with 1:49 left on the clock. Saint John’s then countered with a 7-2 run in the final minute-and-a-half to take a 37-32 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
Saint John’s maintained a four-to-seven point lead through the first nine minutes of the second half, however Gustavus used a 4-0 run to tie the score at 56-56 with 9:42 left in the game. The Gusties would take only their second lead of the game at 58-56 on a jumper by Adam TeBrake at the 7:48 mark. The two teams would exchange the lead four times over the next three minutes. Gustavus sophomore post Andrew Doble converted a three-point play to give the Gusties their last lead of the game at 68-67 with 3:11 left on the clock. Saint John’s would pick up two clutch baskets from Ryan Lieser, while the Gusties would commit two turnovers and miss a layup in the final three minutes of play, which would allow the Johnnies to claim the exciting victory.
Gustavus was sparked by the outstanding performance of sophomore post Andrew Doble who tallied a career high 23 points. Doble connected on 8-of-10 shots from the field and made 7-of-12 free throws. Senior Adam TeBrake contributed 14, while Trevor Wittwer added 12. TeBrake become the 29th player in Gustavus men’s basketball history to reach the 1,000 point plateau in the game. He reached the milestone on a three-point basket at the 13:31 mark of the first half. His career point total is currently 1,012 points.
The Gusties, who had their five-game win streak snapped, were outrebounded for the first time in the past six games. The Johnnies held a 30-25 advantage on the glass. Gustavus shot 51.7 percent from field in the game (26-50), while Saint John’s converted 52.0 percent of its shots from the field (30-58).
Gustavus wraps up its regular season with a record of 18-7 overall and 13-7 in the MIAC.