The Gustavus men’s basketball team shot a blazing 69 percent from behind the three-point arc on 11-of-16 shooting to defeat Concordia 100-67 in the Gusties’ MIAC opener on Saturday afternoon at Gus Young Court. Gustavus seized control of the contest after a 21-5 run late in the first half for a 36-16 lead and never looked back. Robert Schmidt came off the bench to lead Gustavus with a career-high 15 points as the Gustie bench contributed 69 points in the win. Other Gustavus players to reach double-figures included Sam Paulson with 13 and Tyler Grey with 11. John Fraase paced Concordia with 21 points.
The Gusties set the tone early as they jumped out to an 8-0 lead with baskets from Sam Paulson and Ryan McPartland in the post. Concordia pulled to within four points at 15-11 when Karl Olson hit a jump shot with 10:49 on the clock in the first half. However, Gustavus responded with a decisive 21-5 run fueled by a pair of three-point baskets from Tyler Grey and a trey from Robert Schmidt for a 36-16 lead. Head Coach Mark Hanson’s squad carried a 42-22 advantage into halftime as the Gustie bench outscored the Cobber bench 28-3. Grey and Schmidt combined to score 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting from three-point range in the half.
Gustavus did not slow down on both ends of the court in the second half as it held Concordia to 11 points in the first nine minutes, and continued to knock down shots en route to its biggest lead of the game at 68-33. For the remainder of the game, both teams scored on nearly every trip down the court as the Cobbers doubled their point total in ten minutes. The Gusties led by no fewer than 25 points as they reached the century mark in the waning seconds of the game after Seth Anderson hit a jump shot along the left baseline.
Thirteen different Gustavus players recorded points during the game as the Gusties shot 62.5 percent from the floor on 40-of-64 shooting, including 11-of-16 from beyond the arc, and dished out 24 assists. Concordia went 22-of-50 shooting at 44 percent. Gustavus also grabbed 34 rebounds compared to 21 for the Cobbers. The Gusties tallied 100 points for the first time since November 28, 2005 when Gustavus defeated Bethany Lutheran 110-64 in St. Peter.
Gustavus improved to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC, while Concordia fell to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in league play. The Gusties will travel to Winona on Monday night to face Saint Mary’s with a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.