The Gustavus men’s basketball team opened up MIAC play with a 77-72 win over Macalester on Wednesday night in St. Peter. The Gusties trailed 28-35 at the half and trailed by as much as 11 in the second half. The Gusties rallied to take their first lead of the night at 70-69 on a Phil Sowden (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) lay-up with 2:14 left to play. Tyler Kramer (Sr., Hayfield, Minn.) made two free throws with :06 left to secure the victory. Trevor Wittwer (Jr., Redwood Falls, Minn.) led all scorers with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field.
Macalester took a nine-point lead to start the game when Andy Stein made a jump shot to cap a 15-6 run. The Scots clung to their nine-point lead until the 9:35 mark when Brian Ranwick hit a three-pointer to put Macalester ahead by 10, 24-14. With less than eight minutes to play Andrew Olson of Gustavus hit a three-pointer, which sparked a 14-7 run and the Gusties cut the lead down to four with 2:24 to play in the first half, 32-28. However, Scot Tom Conboy made a three to give Macalester a 35-28 lead at intermission.
Sowden led the Gusties in scoring during the first half with six points. Wittwer scored five points and pulled down two rebounds, and Andrew Doble (Jr., Sarasota, FL) scored four points and recorded four rebounds. Conboy led the Scots with nine points and pulled down four rebounds. Abe Woldeslassie scored six points in the half and Jesse Hollander pulled down a team-high five rebounds.
Macalester held onto its nine-point lead until 13:28 left to play when Gustie Jesse Van Sickle’ (Fy., Garden City, Minn.) made a three-point basket which cut the lead to six at 49-43. Van Sickle’s trey sparked a 7-2 run by Gustavus, which was capped off by Wittwer’s lay-up that brought the Gusties to within a point at 51-50. Macalester used a 9-4 run to extend its lead back to six at 60-54. Hollander’s free throw with 6:35 left put the Scots ahead by nine at 65-56. Sowden’s lay-up with 2:14 to play capped a 13-2 Gustie run and giving them the lead for good at 70-69.
Gustavus shot 59.4 percent from the field in the second half and 53.6 percent for the game. Wittwer scored 20 of his 25 points and recorded six of his eight rebounds in the second half. Doble added 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the game, while Sowden had 12 points and seven rebounds. Conboy had 18 points for Macalester while Woldelassie (16) and Hollander (12) were also in double figures for the Scots.
Gustavus (2-2 overall, 1-0 conference) will host Augsburg on Saturday at 1pm.