The Gustavus men’s basketball team made a furious rally in the second half cutting an 18 point lead to two points with four minutes left, however the Tommies made four clutch free throws in the final :30 seconds to hold on for the 76-68 victory. The Gusties needed a win to pull even with the Tommies atop the MIAC standings, however with the loss, Gustavus is now two-and-a-half games back with four games left to play. Andrew Doble led the Gusties with 23 points.
The Tommies got off to a fast start and used an 18-2 over a five minute stretch to claim a 17-point lead at 32-15 with nine minutes left in the half. Gustavus wing Trevor Wittwer scored with :32 on the clock to the cut the lead to 13 points (40-27) and that is the lead that St. Thomas took into the locker room at the intermission. The Tommies made four more field goals than the Gusties in the first half, however the big advantage was on the boards where St. Thomas held a 23-12 advantage including a 12-2 edge on the offensive glass.
St. Thomas continued to build its lead in the second half and it appeared the Tommies were going to blow the Gusties out when they lead by 18 points (49-31) with 15:40 left in the contest, however Gustavus went on a 28-12 run over the next ten minutes to cut the lead to two points at 61-59 with 5:48 left. The Tommies got a big three-point basket from Joe Scott with 2:30 left to push the lead back to six at 70-64. A basket by Trevor Wittwer with :29 on the clock cut the lead to four (72-68), however St. Thomas made four consecutive free throws to seal the victory and put the Tommies in the driver’s seat for the conference title heading into the final two weeks of play.
Andrew Doble scored a season-high 23 points off the bench to lead the Gusties, while Joe Scott led St. Thomas with 25 points.
The Gusties will play three of their final regular season games at home including an important matchup with Concordia on Monday night. Tip-off is set for 7:30 pm.