The Gustavus men’s basketball team saw its five game win streak come to a screaching halt with a 73-61 loss to Augsburg in St. Peter on Saturday afternoon. Femi Solaja had a big day for the Auggies with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Trevor Wittwer led Gustavus with 29 points and 9 rebounds. The Gusties fall to 13-4 overall and 9-3 in the MIAC.
The first half was very evenly played with neither team holding a lead of more than five points. There were four ties and four lead changes. The Gusties held a slim lead for the first seven minutes of the game, but then Augsburg slipped in front and held on for the rest of the half. Gustavus tied the score at 29-29 on a lay-up by Kane Sivesind with 1:42 left on the clock. As the clock was running out at halftime, Sivesind took a jumper with :06 left, the rebound was poked out into the hands of Augsburg’s Matt Quammen who raced down the court alone and dropped in a lay-up as time expired to give the Auggies a 31-29 lead at the intermission.
Augsburg took control early in the second half jumping out to an eight-point lead at 41-33 with 15:43 left to play. Gustavus countered with a 7-2 run to cut the lead to three at 43-40, but Augsburg shot right back with a 7-0 run that pushed the Auggie lead to 10 points at 50-40 at the 10:29 mark. Augsburg built its lead to 15 points on three different occassions and the Gusties would get no closer than 10 points in the final four minutes of the game.
Femi Solaja led the way for Augsburg in the second half as he was 6-of-6 from the field and 7-of-11 from the free throw line for 19 points. Solaja and Jon Cassens, who finished with 20 points, combined to score 13 of Augsburg’s 14 points in the final eight minutes of the game. Augsburg held a big advantage at the free throw line finishing 21-of-28 compared to 7-of-12 for Gustavus. The Gusties were forced to foul to attempt to get back in the game late in the second half as the Auggies were 10-of-11 from the charity stripe in the final six minutes of the contest.
Augsburg claimed its first win at Gustavus in eight years. The last time the Auggies had won in St. Peter was on Dec. 8, 1999 (66-61).