The Gustavus Adolphus College men’s basketball team shot over 50 percent from the field, but was unable to overcome 15 turnovers in a 75-59 loss to defending NCAA Division II champion Winona State University on Saturday night in Winona. The Gusties were 25-of-48 shooting for 52.1 percent compared to 50 percent shooting for the Warriors. However, Winona State scored 22 points on Gustie miscues and converted 18-of-23 at the free throw line. Jesse Van Sickle paced Gustavus with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, while Ryan McPartland and Sam Paulson contributed 10 points each.
Winona State held a slim 19-17 advantage with 9:55 remaining in the first half before Gustavus went on a 7-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 24-19 lead. However, the Warriors responded with a 19-4 run as David Johnson scored 11 points and Travis Whipple hit a pair of three-point baskets during the stretch to build a 38-28 advantage. Phil Wirtjes cut the margin to seven points after drilling a trey from the left baseline as the Gusties went into halftime trailing 38-31. The Gustavus bench outscored Winona State 13-4, but the Warriors turned eight Gustie turnovers into 12 points.
Both squads struggled from the floor in the first five minutes of the second half before Joel Armstrong scored eight straight points for Winona State as its lead grew to double-figures at 47-33. Gustavus cut the deficit to as little as eight points, but the Warriors had answers on the ensuing possessions to stay in control of the game. By the end of the contest, Winona State held its largest lead at 16 points with the final score 75-59 after hitting 15-of-20 shots from the charity stripe to put the game out of reach.
Head Coach Mark Hanson and the Gusties, who are 1-2 overall, open MIAC play against Concordia College on Saturday, December 6 at 3 p.m. in St. Peter.