The Golden Gustie men’s basketball team suffered a disappointing 70-59 loss to Hamline as the Pipers spoiled the 100th Anniversary of Gustavus Men’s Basketball celebration on Saturday at Gus Young Court. The Gusties trailed by five points with four minutes remaining, but were unable to close the gap as Hamline picked up the win. Gustavus struggled to find its offensive touch as the Gusties went 21-for-63 from the field and failed to make a three-point basket, going 0-for-12. Dan Schmidtknecht and Ryan McPartland were the Gusties’ top scorers with 12 points each. Hamline’s Tony Thrasher tallied a game-high 20 points.
The Pipers grabbed a narrow lead in the first half before closing out the frame with a five-point lead at 32-27 after Brandon Hayes made a nifty move for a left-handed layup. Despite shooting 34.5 percent in the half, Gustavus stayed in the game going 7-for-11 from the free-throw line.
The Gusties’ offensive struggles carried over into the second half as Sam Paulson registered their first basket of the period on a layup with 16:54 on the clock. Meanwhile, Hamline built a 15-point lead after Levi Wenrich converted an old-fashioned three-point play after a rare Gustavus turnover to go ahead 44-29.
After switching to a 1-3-1 zone defense, the Gusties clawed to within five points at 56-51 as Dan Schmidtknecht caused two Piper turnovers that led directly to layups by Ryan McPartland. However, Hamline answered with an 8-0 run after a timeout to take a 64-51 lead with 1:26 left to play. The Pipers made their free throws down the stretch as they hung on for the win.
McPartland and Schmidtknecht were the only Gusties to reach double-figures with 12 points apiece. Gustavus committed only three turnovers during the game compared to 11 for Hamline, but the Pipers owned a 43-34 edge on the glass. Saturday’s contest marked the first time since January 26, 2002 when Gustavus failed to hit a three-pointer against Saint Mary’s in a 59-31 victory. Hamline’s Eric Clute joined Tony Thrasher in double-digits with 11 points.
The Gusties will continue their current home-stand against Carleton on Monday with a 7:30 p.m. tip-off at Gus Young Court.