Junior Andrew Doble (Sarasota, Fla.) scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team to a 77-70 victory over Saint Mary’s University Saturday afternoon in Winona. Trevor Wittwer (Jr., Redwood Falls, Minn.) added 17 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals for Gustavus.
The teams engaged in a tight, low-scoring battle during the game’s initial moments. SMU gained the first real advantage as Josh Knights broke a 13-13 tie with a trey at the 9:55 mark. A jumper and a free throw by Dan Cormier extended the lead to 19-13 with 8:36 to play in the half.
The Gusties battled back to tie the score at 28-28 and then took a 31-30 lead with 2:43 left on the clock as Doble concluded a stretch where he scored seven straight Gustavus points. The lead bounced back-and-forth between the teams before Cardinal wing Brensley Haywood knocked down a three-pointer with 1:45 remaining to put Saint Mary’s up 37-34. The teams traded layups in the final minute of the half to give the hosts a 39-36 lead heading to the locker room at intermission.
Slowly chipping away at the deficit during the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Gusties finally erased the SMU lead with 11:03 to play as Kane Sivesind (Jr., Madison, Wis.) hit a three to knot the score at 49-49. Dan Cormier put the Cardinals back up by two with a layup, which was countered by a layup from Wittwer to draw even at 51-51. Another layup by Wittwer on Gustavus’ next trip down the court gave the Gusties their first lead of the second half at 53-51.
A jumper by Michael Batterman with 8:40 to play tied the score for the ninth time in the game at 55-55. Gustavus responded with a 9-2 run to lead 64-57 as the clock ticked under the 5:30 mark in regulation. SMU’s Eric Lear hit a free throw with 2:46 to play to make it a one-possession game at 66-63, but back-to-back layups by Doble and a free throw by Tyler Kramer (Sr., Hayfield, Minn.) extended the Gustie lead to a game-high eight points (71-63) with 34 seconds to play. The Cardinals continued to hit their shots from the field down the stretch, but the Gusties kept the game out of reach by making six straight free throws in the games final half minute, including the final four in succession by Kramer.
Doble, who scored 19 first-half points, ended the night hitting 12 of 16 shots from the field and two of three from the charity stripe, while also pulling down five rebounds. Wittwer finished 6-of-10 from the field and 5-of-10 from the free-throw line. Gustavus outshot the Cardinals 50.9 percent to 44.1 percent from the field, including 59.3 percent in the second half. Andrew Olson (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) added 10 points, four assists, three steals, and a pair of boards to the Gustie cause, while Sivesind finished with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting.
The Cardinals, who had four players in double figures, were led by Haywood with 16 points. Cormier, Mikey Sweeney, and Josh Knights each added a dozen for Saint Mary’s (3-7, 1-4 MIAC). Cormier shared game-high honors in rebounding with Wittwer at eight, while Haywood and Lear each pulled in seven. Haywood also recorded six assists.
The Gusties, who trailed 39-36 at halftime, improve to 6-4 overall and 4-1 in the MIAC and will face Concordia College Monday night in Moorhead.