The Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team opened the second half of the MIAC schedule with a 79-70 win over Macalester Saturday afternoon in St. Peter. Andrew Doble (Jr., Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) led the Gusties with 21 points followed by 20 from Trevor Wittwer (Jr., Redwood Falls, Minn./Redwood Valley). Tom Conboy scored 22 points to lead the Scots, but Abe Woldeslassie, the MIAC’s leading scorer, was held to just two points.
The Scots took the early lead and built upon it using an 11-2 run midway through the first half to take a 22-14 lead. Brad Liddell capped off the run with the third of his three first-half three-pointers to give Macalester the eight-point advantage with 9:26 to play before the half. Led by Doble (11 points) and Wittwer (nine points), the Gusties outscored the Scots 24-8 to finish out the half. Gustavus hit seven of nine shots from the field and seven of eight attempts from the charity stripe to take a 38-30 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Gustavus extended their lead to 11 points early in the second half and led 50-39 with 14:20 to play after Kane Sivesind (Jr., Madison, Wis./Memorial) knocked down a jumper, but the Scots scored eight straight points on a jumper by Andy Stein and back-to-back three-pointers to cut the Gustie lead to three points at 50-47 with 12:27 to play, but Macalester would get no closer. Gustavus responded with a 19-9 run to lead 69-56 with 3:54 remaining. The 13-point lead was was the Gusties’ largest of the game.
The Scots would resort to three-pointers almost exclusively in the final 2:39 as they tried to chip away at Gustavus 13-point lead. Macalester cut the lead to seven points at 73-66 on three-pointers by Liddell and Lars Johnson, but Gustavus would sink six consecutive free throws in the final minute to head off the Scots rally. Liddell made a jumper with five seconds remaining to set the final score at 79-70 with Gustavus notching the victory.
Doble hit 9-of-11 from from the field, while Wittwer knocked down 7-of-10, including a three-pointer. Sivesind scored 16 points, including 11 in the second half, while Phil Sowden (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center) added 15. Mike DesLauriers (So., Minnetonka, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s) with four points and Jay Stien (Sr., Arlington, Minn./Sibley East) with three points rounded out the scoring for Gustavus. Stien also added a team-high six rebounds, DesLauriers notched four assists and Sivesind recorded a team-high three steals.
Conboy hit 11-of-19 from the field, while Liddell finished 6-of-16 with five three-pointers for 17 points for the Scots.
Gustavus shot well from the field throughout the game, shooting 53.8 percent from the field (14-26) in the first half and 75.0 percent (15-20) in the second half. The Scots finished the game shooting 45.5 percent (30-66) from the field.
The Gusties had a 40-26 advantage in points in the paint during the game and was helped by 37 points off the bench compared to Macalester’s 18. Macalester outrebounded the Gusties 31-27, including 15-5 on the offensive boards.
Gustavus (9-7, 7-4 MIAC) will face Augsburg Monday night in Minneapolis before returning home to meet Bethel Wednesday night in St. Peter. Macalester will host Saint Mary’s Wednesday before closing out Macalester Gymnasium next Saturday with a home game against St. Thomas.