The Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team fell to Carleton 66-53 Wednesday night at Gus Young Court in St. Peter, reaching the midway point of the conference season alone in third place in the MIAC standings with a 6-4 league mark. Phil Sowden (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center) led Gustavus (8-7) with 21 points and seven rebounds. Carleton (6-9, 5-5 MIAC), which went on a 14-0 run in the second half, was led by Jake Phillips with 19.
The Gusties opened the game on a 8-0 run, holding Carleton scoreless over the first 5:21 of the game before Jake Phillips knocked down a three-pointer to get the Knights on the board. Carleton would slowly chip away at the Gustavus lead throughout the half, finally drawing even at 28-28 on a layup by Bryan Rosett with 46 seconds to play in the half. Trevor Wittwer (Jr., Redwood Falls, Minn./Redwood Valley) hit a jumper with 15 seconds remaining to give the Gusties a 30-28 lead heading into the locker room. Sowden and Johnson each scored 11 first-half points to lead their respective teams. Wittwer added 10 for the Gusties.
Carleton forward Tommy Drake scored the first five points of the second half to give the Knights a 33-30 advantage, but Sowden cut the lead to one on a pair of free throws and retook the lead at 34-33 on a dunk by Wittwer. At that point, the Gusties went cold, missing their next eight shots from the field. The Knights capitalized, going on a 14-0 run to take a 47-34 lead. Gustavus was held scoreless for nearly nine minutes before Kane Sivesind (Jr., Madison, Wis./Memorial) hit one of his three three-pointers on the evening, cutting the lead to ten at 47-37 with 8:57 to play. The Gusties would get no closer than ten points the rest of the way as Carleton made nine of 11 free throws in the final two minutes of play.
After shooting 56.5 percent (13-23) from the field in the first half, Gustavus made just six of 21 attempts (28.6%) in the second half to finish the game at 43.2 percent (19-44) from the floor. Carleton proved to be more consistent in its shooting, hitting 39.3 percent (11-28) of its shots in the first half and 44.4 percent (12-27) in the second to finish at 41.8 percent (23-55) for the game. The Knights, who outrebounded the Gusties 13-7 on the offensive boards, also held a 30-14 advantage in points in the paint and an 11-6 advangate in second chance points.
Sowden finished with game-highs of 21 points and seven rebounds on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor. He also knocked down eight of 10 attempts from the charity stripe. Trevor Wittwer added 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting, pulled down six rebounds and made three blocks. Sivesind contributed nine points, all on three-pointers.
Phillips led the Knights with 19 points on only 4-of-13 shooting, but sank 10 of 12 free throw attempts. Zach Johnson added 18 points, while Drake scored 10 points and pulled down a game-high seven rebounds.
The Gusties begin the second half of the conference schedule Saturday afternoon when they face Macalester in St. Paul. Carleton also returns to the court Saturday afternoon, hosting Augsburg at West Gym in Northfield.