The Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team dropped to 10-9 overall and 8-6 in the MIAC, falling to Saint John’s 100-66 Saturday afternoon in Collegeville. The match-up between two the MIAC’s top programs turned into a rout as the Johnnies (15-4, 13-1 MIAC) shot a sizzling 64.6 percent from the field and held a 36-14 rebounding advantage. Tyler Westman led five Johnnies in double figures with a game-high 19 points, while Phil Sowden (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center) led the Gusties with 18.
The Johnnies outscored the Gusties 16-9 over the game’s first six minutes, but saw their lead cut to four points at 18-14 at the 13:28 mark of the first half after a three-pointer by Kane Sivesind (Jr., Madison, Wis./Memorial) and a jumper by Jesse Van Sickle (Fr., Garden City, Minn./Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial). Saint John’s responded with a 25-10 run to increase their lead to 19 at 43-24 with 5:24 to play. Back-to-back layups by Trevor Wittwer (Jr., Redwood Falls, Minn./Redwood Valley) cut the lead to 15 at 43-28 with 3:26 remaining, but Saint John’s finished the half on a 11-2 run to take a 54-30 lead into the locker room at halftime. Westman had 16 first-half points, while Matt Ohme added 11 for the Johnnies.
Saint John’s continued to build on its lead in the second half, using a 20-6 run through the middle portion of the period to increase the lead to 40 points at 91-51 with 5:38 remaining. Gustavus went on a 15-5 run to cut the lead to 30 points at 96-66 with 1:36 to play, but Saint John’s scored the game’s final four points for the 100-66 victory.
The Johnnies’ success on the boards was also reflected in the number of shots each team attempted. Saint John’s finished the game 42-of-65 from the field, while Gustavus was only 22-of-47. The teams were nearly even from behind the arch, with the Johnnies sinking seven of 13 long-distance attempts and the Gusties connecting on six of 14 three-pointers. Both teams also fared well from the free throw line, where the Johnnies were a perfect 9-for-9, while the Gusties sank 16 of 18 opportunities from the charity stripe.
Westman led all players with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Ryan Lieser added 14 points, while Matt Ohme racked up 13 points, five assists, four rebounds, and a pair of steals. Craig Schafer scored 12 points and Jason Fogt added 10 off the bench for the Saint John’s.
Sowden led Gustavus with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while Andrew Doble narrowly missed double figures with nine points. Trevor Wittwer added eight points.
The Gusties are off until Saturday, Feb. 3 when they host Saint Mary’s in another MIAC tilt. Saint John’s returns to action Wednesday, Jan. 31 when they travel to Bethel.