The Gustavus men’s basketball team rallied from a 12-point second half deficit to claim a thrilling 65-64 win at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts on Sunday afternoon. Jesse Van Sickle made one of two free throws with :21 left and the Gusties held on for the one-point victory. The Gusties, who have now won five straight games, improved to 6-2 overall.
Springfield, which led 31-27 at the intermission, took charge early in the second half and built its lead to 12-points at 45-33 with 14:01 left to play. The Gusties countered with a 10-0 run to cut the lead to two at 45-43 with 11:29 on the clock. Springfield maintained a slim lead through the next six minutes until Kane Sivesind’s layup at the 4:52 mark tied the game at 57-57. The Gusties took their first lead of the second half at 61-60 on a layup by Trevor Wittwer. Springfield scored on a layup by Gregg Daly to take a 62-61 lead with 1:48 left, but then Gustavus center Sam Paulson hit a three-point basket at the 1:09 mark to put the Gusties up 64-62. Springfield scored again with :44 left to tie the score at 64-64. Van Sickle’s free throw with :21 left turned out to be the difference for Gustavus.
The Gusties were led in scoring by Van Sickle who contributed 15 points, including 4-of-4 shooting from three-point range. Three other Gustavus players reached double figures including Trevor Wittwer, Sam Paulson, and Andrew Doble with 10 points each. The Gusties out-rebounded the Pride 41-27 in the game and held a 21-8 advantage on the boards in the second half. Paulson led Gustavus with 11 rebounds.
Springfield was led in scoring by Jamaal Gibbs with 17 points. Springfield College is coached by former Gustavus Head Coach Charlie Brock who coached the Gusties from 1986 through 1989.
Gustavus will stay out East to play the University of Massachusetts at Boston on Tuesday, January 2 at 1:00 pm (Central Standard Time).