The Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team saw its record fall to 1-1 overall as Buena Vista University picked up a 78-70 non-conference victory Tuesday night on Gus Young Court. The Gusties led 38-35 at halftime, but struggled in the second half shooting 39.3 percent from the field (11-28). The Beavers, on the other hand, shot 54.2 percent from the field (13-24).
The lead see-sawed back and forth during the early moments of the game before BVU went on the first run of the game, an 11-0 spurt four minutes in to turn a 10-8 deficit into a 19-10 lead. Gustavus head coach Mark Hanson called a timeout at the 12:25 mark to settle his troops and it seemed to do the trick. The Gusties scored 17 of the next 19 points to take a 27-21 lead with 6:53 to play in the first half. The Gustavus run was punctuated by three straight three-pointers from Tyler Kramer (Sr. Hayfield, Minn.), Phil Sowden (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.), and Jesse Van Sickle (Fr., Garden City, Minn.).
Buena Vista stemmed the Gustie tide, though, as Mark Joekel turned a pair of errant Gustavus three-point attempts into Beaver points, cutting the lead to a pair at 27-25. After trading baskets, another three-pointer by Kramer and a pair of free throws by Sowden pushed the Gustie lead to seven at 34-27 with 3:16 remaining in the half. The Beavers mounted one final charge as time ticked away in the first half, scoring eight straight points and taking a 35-34 lead on a three by Eric Holton. Gustavus scored the final four points to take a 38-35 lead into the half.
BVU retook the lead with back-to-back lay-ups by Brian Fogleman in the first 1:07 of the second half, but the lead would be short-lived. Three-point baskets by Kane Sivesind (Jr., Madison, Wis.) and Andrew Olson (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) gave the Gusties a 47-41 lead at the 15:32 mark. Mark Joekel ended the Gustavus run with a three of his own. Buena Vista scored 11 of the next 15 points led by Kyle Stribe, who at one point scored eight straight BVU points, giving the Beavers a 55-51 lead with 11:36 to play.
The lead fluctuated between the teams for the next seven minutes resulting in a tied score on four separate occasions during the stretch. The Gusties led only briefly at 60-59 following a free throw by Wittwer, but another three by Stribe seconds later gave the Beavers back the lead. Tyler Kramer sank a pair of free throws with 4:35 to play to knot the score at 63-63, but the Gusties were never to regain the lead. BVU made three lay-ups and a pair of free throws to build an eight-point lead which would prove to be insurmountable. With the Gusties forced to foul to conserve the clock, the Beavers stepped to the charity stripe and made seven of 10 free throws in the final 1:24 to keep the game out of reach.
BVU finished the game shooting 64.3 percent (9-17) from three-point range compared to 29.6 percent (8-27) for the Gusties. Gustavus posted a modest 42.9 percent average (6-14) from three in the first half, but tailed off in the second half, hitting on only two of 13 attempts.
Phil Sowden scored game-highs with 19 points and nine rebounds to lead three Gusties in double figures. Tyler Kramer finished with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting, while Andrew Olson added 12 points by going 5-of-7 from the field. Kyle Stribe finished with a team-high 15 points off the bench for the Beavers. Stribe went 6-of-8 from the field, including a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the three-point line. Andre Wagner also hit double-digits for BVU, finishing with 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting. Wagner also went 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Ryan Dupic and Mark Joekel each had nine points, with Dupic hitting on 5-of-6 free throws in the second half to help seal the victory.
The Gusties will host Carthage Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. before opening MIAC play Wednesday, Nov. 29 at home against Macalester. The Beavers (2-1) play their home opener this Saturday against Northwestern (Iowa).