Augsburg went on a decisive 13-6 run at the end of the game to hand the Gustavus men’s basketball team a 65-58 loss on Monday night in Minneapolis. Ryan McPartland made a layup to tie the contest at 52-52 with four minutes remaining, but Gustavus only managed to hit a pair of three-pointers the rest of the way. The Gusties, who dropped to 9-9 overall and 8-5 in the MIAC, had three players reach double-figures, including Sam Paulson with 15, Jesse Van Sickle with 12, and Ryan McPartland with 10. The Auggies improved to 12-7 overall and 10-4 in the league.
The first half featured large momentum swings for each team as both squads went on multiple scoring runs during the frame. Gustavus sprinted out to a 16-1 lead with 14:04 left in the first half, making seven of its first nine shots. Augsburg tightened up its defense holding the Gusties scoreless over the next five minutes as the Auggies pulled to within three points at 16-13 after scoring 12 straight points. Two three-point baskets by Jesse Van Sickle and a three-pointer by Ryan McPartland helped put Gustavus ahead 29-17 with 3:40 on the clock. However, Augsburg closed out the half with a 10-0 run as the Gusties headed into the locker room leading 29-27.
The teams exchanged leads throughout the second half until the Auggies held a slim 52-48 advantage with 4:42 left in the game. Phil Wirtjes made a pair of free throws to bring Gustavus within two points on the next possession followed by McPartland’s layup to even the score at 52-52 with 4:04 to play. Augsburg scored the next eight points to take a 60-52 before a three-point shot by McPartland cut the deficit to five points. The Auggies would make their next four free throws for their largest lead of the game at nine points with 00:16 left. Robert Schmidt made a shot from behind the arc, but it would not be enough as Augsburg grabbed the 65-58 win.
Three Gusties scored in double-figures as Sam Paulson, Jesse Van Sickle, and Ryan McPartland had 15, 12, and 10 points, respectively. Gustavus was 7-for-13 from the three-point line to finish the night at 53.8 percent, but shot just 42.0 percent from the field (21-for-50). The Gusties shot well from the free-throw line, going 9-for-11 (81.8 percent), compared to the Auggies, who were 13-for-21 (61.9 percent). Augsburg was paced by Nate Alm, who led all scorers with 21 points on 10-for-18 shooting.
Gustavus will look to get back in the win column against Macalester on Wednesday in St. Paul at 7:30 p.m.