The Gustavus men’s basketball team was unable to score in the last minute of the game as Carleton hit its free throws to hand the Gusties a 72-67 loss on Wednesday in Northfield. Gustavus held a 67-66 lead with 1:06 remaining, but the Knights made six straight free throws to grab the win. Ryan McPartland was the top Gustie scorer with 17 points followed by Bobby Johnson and Sam Paulson with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Gustavus fell to 8-7 overall and 7-3 in the MIAC, while Carleton moved to 11-4 overall and 7-3 in the league.
Jesse Van Sickle scored the first four points of the contest as the Gusties stormed out to a 8-2 lead in the first two minutes of the first half. Carleton erased the deficit after a layup by Bryan Rosett to take a 22-21 lead with 7:22 on the clock. Both teams exchanged leads before Gustavus held a slim 33-32 advantage at halftime. The Knights went 14-for-25 (56.0 percent) from the floor, but the Gusties went 4-for-10 from behind the three-point arc to hang on to the lead.
Carleton used a 6-0 run early in the second half to build its biggest lead of the game at 46-40 after layups by Seth Jonker, Rosett, and Zach Johnson. Gustavus gradually crawled back into the contest and regained the lead at 57-56 after a Dan Schmidtknecht block led to a jump shot by Robert Schmidt in transition. Neither team lead by more than two points for the rest of the contest.
Ryan McPartland hit a pair of free throws with 1:06 left to give the Gusties a 67-66 edge. Two free throws from Rosett put Carleton ahead 68-67 with 00:36 remaining. On the ensuing possession, Gustavus committed one of its 11 turnovers, forcing the Gusties to foul Kellen McLemore. McLemore made both free throws as the Knights extended their lead to 70-67. Jesse Van Sickle had a look at a three-point shot with four seconds left, but was off target. McLemore grabbed the rebound and hit two more free throws to seal the win for Carleton.
Three Gusties reached double-digits including McPartland with 17, Bobby Johnson with 15, and Sam Paulson with 13. Gustavus shot 46.4 percent on 26-for-56 shooting, but went 6-for-18 from behind the three-point line. Zach Johnson led the Knights with 28 points on 10-for15 shooting. As a team, Carleton went 27-for-53 (50.9 percent) from the field despite making just 3-for-19 from three-point range.
Both squads are now in a tie for third place after the first round of MIAC play with a 7-3 record. Gustavus begins the second half of league play at Concordia on Saturday afternoon. The Gusties beat the Cobbers 100-67 in St. Peter on December 6.