The Gustavus men’s basketball team struggled to take care of the ball, committing 29 turnovers in a 70-49 loss to second-ranked University of St. Thomas at Schoenecker Arena on Saturday afternoon in a battle of the top two teams in the MIAC. Ryan McPartland was the only Gustie to reach double-figures with 10 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Gustavus, which fell to 7-6 overall, moved into a tie with Carleton for second place in the league standings at 6-2. St. Thomas remained undefeated at 14-0 overall and 9-0 in the conference.
The Tommies raced out to a 13-3 lead with seven points from Joe Scott in the first six minutes of the game. The Gusties cut the lead to six points at 21-15 after Robert Schmidt hit his only three-pointer of the game with 7:56 left in the first half. Both teams traded points for the rest of the period before Ryan McPartland made a jumper at the end of the half as Gustavus went into the locker room trailing 30-23.
St. Thomas went on an 8-0 tear at the start of the second half to regain a double-digit lead at 38-23. The Gusties pulled to within 12 points two minutes later after a three-point basket by Jesse Van Sickle, old-fashioned three-point play by Dan Schmidtknecht, and a layup by Schmidt making the score 43-31, but that was as close as Gustavus came the rest of the game. The Tommies held their biggest advantage of the game at 64-43 with 4:40 on the clock after a layup by B.J. Viau as they cruised to the win.
After Ryan McPartland’s ten points, Dan Schmidtknecht came off the bench to score eight points. The Tommies were paced by Joe Scott’s 18 points followed by 13 points from B.J. Viau and 11 points from Brady Ervin. The Gusties shot 44.4 percent from the field on 20-for-45 shooting, while St. Thomas was 29-for-59 from the floor (49.2 percent). On the glass, Gustavus pulled down 30 rebounds compared to 28 boards for the Tommies.
Gustavus will look to remain in second place in the conference standings when it hosts Saint John’s, which is 7-7 overall and 5-4 in the MIAC, on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at Gus Young Court.