The Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team closed out its regular season with a 71-65 loss at Carleton Saturday afternoon in Northfield. Trevor Wittwer (Jr., Redwood Falls, Minn./Redwood Valley) led the Gusties with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
The Gusties scored the first seven points of the game and jumped out to an early 10-point lead at 14-4, but saw the Knights gradually chip away at their lead as time ticked away in the first half. Gustavus, which shot 65% (13-20) in the first half, took a 33-30 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Gustavus extended their lead to eight points just over a minute into the second half as Andrew Olson (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) hit a three-pointer and Jay Stien (Sr., Arlington, Minn./Sibley East) scored a layup, but Carleton battled back to outscore Gustavus 9-2 over the next three minutes and take a 41-40 lead on a three-pointer by Jake Phillips with 15:55 to play. The lead changed hands six times and the score tied on five other occasions over the next nine minutes. A Wittwer layup with 6:23 to play gave Gustavus a 59-56 lead, but the Knights scored nine of the next 11 points to turn a three-point deficit into a four-point lead with 3:55 remaining in the game. Carleton hit six free throws down the stretch to keep the Gusties at bay.
Gustavus outshot the Knights 58.1% to 53.1% from the field but committed 16 turnovers to Carleton’s eight. The Knights were also 14-of-20 from the charity stripe, while Gustavus hit on seven of eight attempts.
Jake Phillips scored 21 points lead four Knights in double-figures. Zach Johnson added 16 points, while Bryan Rosett added 12 and Tommy Drake added 10 points and a game-high five rebounds. Behind Wittwer’s 18 points, Andrew Doble (Jr., Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) was the only other Gustie in double-figures with 11 points. Phil Sowden (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center) finished with nine, while Kane Sivesind (Jr., Madison, Wis./Memorial) scored eight off the bench.
Gustavus takes a 13-12 record overall into the MIAC Playoffs where they are the fourth seed. The Gusties will host Carleton in a quarterfinal matchup Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. in St. Peter.