Sophomore Seth Anderson scored 13 points in the the second half to lead the Gustavus men’s basketball team to a 56-51 upset win over #5 St. Thomas Wednesday night in St. Peter, Minn. Anderson scored eight of the Gusties final 13 points, including 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final five minutes of play. Gustavus moves into the top spot in the MIAC with an 8-0 record and 10-3 overall, as St Thomas drops to 7-1 in the MIAC and 11-2 overall. Gustavus snapped St. Thomas’s 32-game MIAC win streak that dated back to February of 2008.
The Gusties controlled the opening tip and started the game on a 7-1 run. A steal and layup by Anderson gave Gustavus a nine point lead with 10:23 remaining in the half. Gustavus shot 7-of-14 from the field at that point as the Tommies were 3-of-8. A shot clock buzzer beater with eight minutes left in the half gave Gustavus it’s largest lead of the night at 20-10. A layup by Joe Scott one minute later sparked an 11-0 Tommie scoring run that was capped off by a three-pointer by Alex Healy giving St. Thomas a 21-20 lead . Ben Biewen answered with three-pointer on the ensuing possession that put Gustavus back in the lead at 23-21 with 3:07 remaining the half. The two teams went into the locker room at the intermission with the scored tied at 26-26.
The score would remain tight in the early minutes of the second half. Seth Anderson’s jumper at the 13:02 mark gave the Gusties a 40-34 lead. St. Thomas struck right back on a three-pointer by Nicolai and a layup by Teddy Archer bringing the Tommies back to within one at 40-39 with just under ten minutes to play. The Tommies tied the game at 45-45 on a jumper by Sam Eicher. With the game tied at 51-51, Seth Anderson electrified the boisterous crowd with an acrobatic up-and-under layup to give the Gusties a two-point lead at 53-51 with 1:25 on the clock. Jesse Van Sickle sealed the victory with a pair of steals on St. Thomas’s ensuing two possessions, and free throws would give the Gusties the five-point, 56-51 win.
Gustavus shot 40.8% (20-49) from the field in the game and committed just 11 turnovers compared to 19 for St. Thomas. The Tommies shot 40.0% (16-40) from the field and 81.3% (13-16) from the charity stripe. Seth Anderson finished with a game-high 17 points on 5-10 shooting. Jesse Van Sickle and Phil Wirtjes also contributed nine points each. Tyler Nicolai led St. Thomas with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting. The Gusties held the high-powered Tommie offense to 22.2 points below their season scoring average of 73.2 points per game.
The Gusties next game will be against Bethel on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 3:00pm in Arden Hills, Minn.