Senior Phil Sowden (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center) led all players with 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team posted a 72-61 victory over Saint Mary’s Saturday at Gus Young Court in St. Peter. Gustavus (11-9, 9-6 MIAC) led by as much as 23 points midway through the second half before Saint Mary’s (7-13, 6-10 MIAC) mounted a late charge to cut the lead to single digits.
Saint Mary’s led throughout much of the first half, using three consecutive three-pointers to turn a 9-6 deficit into a 15-9 lead with 13:33 remaining before halftime. Gustavus mounted a charge late in the half, though. Trailing 27-21 with 6:31 to play, the Gusties forced five turnovers and closed out the half on a 15-2 run to take a 36-29 lead into the break. Gustavus made six straight free throws in the final 1:20 and held Saint Mary’s to just a Dan Cormier jumper.
A 22-6 run to start the second half extended the Gustavus lead to 23 points at 58-35 with 11:54 remaining in the game. Back-to-back Cardinal three-pointers separated by a free throw by Trevor Wittwer (Jr., Redwood Falls, Minn./Redwood Valley) momentarily cut the lead to 18 at 59-41, but a three-pointer by Kane Sivesind (Jr., Madison, Wis./Memorial) and a pair of free throws by Andrew Doble (Jr., Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) gave Gustavus a 64-41 lead with 8:39 to play.
The Saint Mary’s defense clamped down following Sivesind’s three-pointer, forcing seven Gustavus turnovers and limiting the Gusties to two made field goals down the stretch, both on layups by Phil Sowden. SMU was able to capitalize, cutting the Gustie lead to nine points at 70-61 with 0:23 to play, but could get no closer. Andrew Olson (Sr., Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna) hit four free throws in the final 0:48 to secure the 72-61 victory.
Both teams were relatively consistent from the field with Gustavus only outshooting Saint Mary’s 53.5% to 49.1% for the game. The game was decided both on the boards and at the free throw line, two areas where Gustavus emerged with a distinct advantage. The Gusties outrebounded the Cardinals 32-21 and made 20 of 24 free throw attempts. Saint Mary’s stepped to the charity stripe only four times during the game, converting once.
Sowden scored a game-high 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting and pulled down 10 rebounds. Wittwer added 14 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, and a pair of assists, while Doble made it three Gusties in double figures with 10 points. Sivesind scored eight points, while Olson added seven points and four assists.
Brensley Haywood led four Cardinals in double figures with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Haywood knocked down three three-pointers and also had four steals and three assists. John Gencius was next with 12 points on four three-pointers, while Dan Cormier added 11 points and Michael Batterman scored 10 points.
The Gusties host Concordia (3-17, 3-12 MIAC) Monday evening in St. Peter.