The Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team fell to 13-11 overall and 11-8 in the MIAC with a 58-52 loss to St. Olaf in its regular-season home finale Wednesday at Gus Young Court. The Gusties led 30-21 at halftime but were outshot 51.9% to 33.3% and outrebounded 22-13 by the Oles in the second half. Trevor Wittwer (Jr., Redwood Falls, Minn./Redwood Valley) led all players with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
The Gusties trailed briefly in the early portion of the first half (3-2 with 17:56 remaining), but rebounded to lead 14-7 on a jumper by Phil Sowden (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center). Wittwer scored five straight points to start the Gusties on a 9-0 run to take a 23-9 lead near the eight-minute mark of the first half. St. Olaf responded with a 12-5 run to cut the lead to 28-21 with 3:47 to play, but Wittwer gave the Gusties a nine-point halftime lead at 30-21 by hitting a jumper with 0:33 left before the break.
St. Olaf opened the second half with a 14-5 run led by six points from Jon Butala and four each from Mitch Haugen and Mark Bergstrom to tie the game at 35-35 at the five-minute mark of the second. Jay Stien (Sr., Arlington, Minn./Sibley East) sank a jumper and a pair of free throws to put the Gusties up by four, but the Oles bounced back with a pair of buckets to lock the game up at 39-39. Gustavus tied the game for the final time with 8:33 to play as Sowden made a layup. Fouled on the play, the Gusties pulled ahead 44-43 as Sowden made the ensuing free throw. St. Olaf responded with a 9-2 run to take a 52-46 lead with just over five minutes to play. The Oles would match the Gusties point-for-point down the stretch to emerge with the 58-52 victory.
Wittwer scored a team-high 19 points and eight rebounds, followed by Sowden with 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting and seven boards. Stien added eight points, Kane Sivesind (Jr., Madison, Wis./Memorial) posted five, Andrew Doble (Jr., Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) notched four, and Andrew Olson (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) rounded out the Gusties’ scoring with three points.
Mark Bergstrom led the Oles with 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting, followed by Jon Bain with 10 points and game-highs with nine rebounds and three assists. Jon Butala narrowly missed double-figures in scoring with nine points, while adding six points and a game-high five steals.
Gustavus, which closes out its regular season Saturday at Carleton, locked up the fourth seed in the MIAC Playoffs and will host a semifinal game Monday evening.