The Gustavus men’s basketball team opened its MIAC season with a road win over Carleton 55-46 on Wednesday night in Northfield, Minn. The Gusties took a quick 25-19 lead to open the second half and would not look back, as Sam Paulson scored six points on the first four possessions of the half. Paulson registered a double-double as he finished with a game high 12 points, shooting 6-8 from the field, and securing 10 rebounds.
It was a low scoring first half, yet the Knights held the shooting advantage, going 9-21 (42.9%) in the half, while the Gusties shot just 28.6% (8-28) from the field. Carleton took a 15-8 lead on a Bryan Rosett jumper with 8:00 minutes to play in the half, but Gustavus would answer with a 10-4 run to tie the game at 19-19 heading into halftime. Phil Wirtjes lead the Gusties in scoring with five points on 2-3 shooting from the field in the half.
The Knights would bounce back from the fast second half Gustavus start and would cut the lead to three points on two occasions in the second half. Three pointers by Carter Biewen at the 16:43 and 10:09 marks brought Carleton within striking distance, yet the Knights could not get the big stop on defense to close the gap. The Gusties improved on their poor first half shooting performance, shooting 44.4% (12-27) in the second half. Carleton meanwhile shot 52.4% (11-21) in the half, yet lost the turnover battle 10-3. Dan Schmidtknect and Ryan McPartland each scored 6 points in the half and both went 4-4 from the charity stripe. Biewen led the way for the Knights, scoring nine points on 3-5 shooting in the second half.
Gustavus shot 86.7% (13-15) from the free throw line in the game, as Carleton tallied only one free throw attempt, going 0-1 on the night. Bench scoring was also key to the Gustavus win, as the Gustavus bench outscored the Knight’s 15-0 in the game.
The Gustavus men’s basketball team will play host to Concordia College on Saturday, Dec. 5th at 3:00pm in St. Peter, Minn.