The Gustavus men’s basketball team lost its 2007-08 opener to Luther College 60-58 in St. Peter, Minn. Luther’s Shane Daniels hit a driving layup with :03 left in regulation play to give the Norse the come-from-behind victory. Gustavus held a seven-point lead (53-46) with six minutes left to play, however Luther outscored the Gusties 14-5 the rest of the way to sneak away with the win. Trevor Wittwer led Gustavus with 15 points.
Both teams struggled in the early going with cold shooting and turnovers. The Norse took an early 3-0 lead on a three-point basket by Austin Bildstein. The Gusties tied the score on a trey by Tyler Kaus. A 9-4 run gave Gustavus a 12-7 lead with 11:25 left in the half. Luther countered with a 5-0 run to tie the score at 12-12. The Norse held a 16-15 lead with 7:37 left, however Luther would out-score Gustavus 16-6 in the remainder of the half and went into the locker room with an 11-point lead at 32-21.
Gustavus came out sharp after the break and outscored Luther 10-2 in the first five minutes of the half cutting the lead to three points at 34-31 at the 15:16 mark. The Gusties re-gained the lead at 41-40 at the 9:49 mark. Gustavus continued its surge and took its largest lead of the game with a seven-point margin (53-46) at the 6:06 mark. The Gusties would go cold from the free throw line and the field the rest of the game and the Norse would take advantage out-scoring Gustavus 14-5 in the final six minutes and claiming the win on the last second heroics by Shane Daniels.
Neither team shot very well in the game as Luther made 21-of-57 from the field (36.8 percent) and Gustavus made 21-of-49 (42.9 percent). The difference turned out to be at the three-point line where Luther made 5-of-14 and Gustavus made 3-of-12. The Gusties also struggled at the free throw line making 13-out-of-21 (61.9 percent).
Gustavus was led by Trevor Wittwer with 15 points and five rebounds. Ryan McPartland was the only other Gustie in double figures with 11. Austin Bildstein led Luther with 15 points.