The Gustavus men’s basketball team continued on a winning course with a 69-40 victory over non-conference opponent Bethany Lutheran College on Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minn. The Gusties came out firing in the second half, going on a 21-3 run to open the half. Seth Anderson led the way with 14 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Gustavus moves to 6-1 overall as the Vikings drop to 0-9 on the season.
Both teams got off to a bit of a slow start in the opening minutes of the game. At the 8:36 mark of the first half the score was tied 12-12, as Phil Wirtjes scored eight of Gustavus’s first 12 points. A jumper by Adam Michel with under seven minutes to play in the half sparked 12-2 Gustavus run, taking a 24-14 lead with 2:46 remaining in half. Gustavus led 28-21 at halftime, as the Gusties outshot Bethany 34.4% (11-32) to 30% (9-30) from the field.
Gustavus shot a hot 51.7% (15-29) from the field in the second half and opened up a 25-point lead with 10:30 to play in the game. The Gusties kept the pressure on for the remainder of the half, cruising to a 29-point victory. Gustavus won the turnover battle in the second half, committing just four turnovers in the half as Bethany turned the ball over 11 times. James Hill and Seth Anderson each scored eight points in the half. Bench scoring was a big factor in the game as the Gustavus bench outscored Bethany’s 45 to 12.
The Gusties shot 42.6% (26-61) from the field in the game as Bethany shot 29.8% (17-57). Gustavus was also 5-12 from three point range and 12-17 from the free throw line. Other leading scorers for Gustavus included Wirtjes with 10 points and Hill with 8 points. Paul Blacklock brought down eight rebounds, as the Gusties out-rebounded the Vikings 43-37 in the game. Tommy Saffert was the leading scorer for the Vikings with 12 points on 5-11 shooting.
The Gustavus men’s basketball will take a short break before traveling to Hawaii to take on Hawaii Pacific University on December 28th and the University of Hawaii at Hilo on the 30th.