The Gustavus men’s basketball team used a 9-0 spurt late in the second half to build a 12-point lead at 76-64 with 4:01 remaining and then held on for an 85-79 win in St. Peter, Minn. The Gusties extended their current win streak to seven games and improved their record to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in MIAC play. Senior wing Kane Sivesind scored a career-high 26 points to lead Gustavus.
The Gusties got off to a quick start and held a seven-point lead at 11-4 after the first three minutes of play. Gustavus maintained a 5-to-8 point lead through much of the first half, but Saint Mary’s used a 7-0 run to cut the lead to one at 28-27 at the 6:00 minute mark. The Gusties countered with a 6-0 run that built the lead back to seven at 36-29, but then the Cardinals came right back with a 6-0 run of their own to trim the Gustavus lead to one at 36-35 with 1:21 left before the intermission. Mike DesLauriers banked in a running layup with :06 left on the clock to give Gustavus a 41-37 lead at halftime. Nick Carr of Saint Mary’s led all scorers with 12 points in the first 20 minutes of play.
Saint Mary’s got of to the quick start in the second half outscoring the Gusties 6-2 in the first three minutes of play and tying the score at 43-43. Gustavus countered with a quick 11-2 burst to build a 54-45 lead with 13:58 left to play. Kane Sivesind scored five of the Gusties 11 points. Midway through the second half, the Cardinals’ Luke Holland scored six straight points to lead a 12-6 run by Saint Mary’s which cut the Gustavus lead to three points at 60-57 at the 8:41 mark. It was at that point that the Gusties countered with the decisive 9-0 run pushing the lead to 12 points at 76-64 with 4:01 remaining in the game. Kane Sivesind, the star of the game for Gustavus scored seven of the Gusties nine points during the run.
The Cardinals would make the game interesting by pouring in three consecutive three-point baskets (two by Mike Rohr and one one Josh Knights) to cut the Gustavus lead to four at 82-78 with :28 seconds left. The Cardinals then stole the inbounds pass and Blake Moses was fouled and sent to the line for two shots. Moses made one of two free throws to make the score 82-79 at the :23 mark. Gustavus helped the Cardinals get back into the game making only 2-of-6 attempts from the free throw line down the stretch. Sivesind closed out his career best performance by making two free throws with :10 seconds left which allowed the Gusties to escape with the 85-79 victory.
Others joining Sivesind in double figure scoring for Gustavus were Trevor Wittwer with 21 and Jesse Van Sickle with 11. The Gusties shot 51.6 percent from the field (32-62) and out-rebounded Saint Mary’s 45-23, while only shooting 50.0 percent from the free throw line (16-32).
Saint Mary’s placed five players in double figures including Will Wright with 17, Nick Carr with 14, Lukas Holland with 13, and Mike Rohr and Blake Moses with 12 each. The Cardinals shot 49.2 percent from the field (29-59) and 92.3 percent from the free throw line (12-13).
Gustavus extended its home winning streak over Saint Mary’s to 24 games dating back to the 1982-83 season. The Cardinals have not ever won a game on Gus Young Court, which was dedicated in the 1984-85 season.
The Gusties (8-2, 4-1) will travel to Concordia on Wednesday to play the Cobbers at 7:45, while Saint Mary’s (1-10, 1-4) has a bye on Wednesday and returns to play on Saturday at home against Carleton.