Augsburg’s Jon Cassens scored 17 second half points, leading the Auggies to a 75-70 victory over the Gustavus men’s basketball team on Monday night in St. Peter, Minn. Augsburg closed the gap on a 12-point second half Gustavus lead to hand the Gusties their second consecutive MIAC loss. Augsburg’s David Olson scored a game-high 23 points, as Jesse Van Sickle led the Gusties with 18 points.
Gustavus came out firing to start the game, riding a 55.2% (16-29) field goal percentage to a 43-35 lead at the halftime break. The game went back-and-forth in the early goings of the game, as there were nine lead changes recorded in the first half. Gustavus went 7-for-8 from three-point range, as Van Sickle was 4-for-5 from behind the arc in the half. Van Sickle hit a three pointer on four consecutive possessions with less than six minutes left, giving Gustavus it’s largest lead of the half at 41-29 with 3:40 on the clock. Van Sickle led all scorers with 14 points in the half. Augsburg scored on it’s final two possessions to bring the score to within eight points at the break. The Auggies shot 51.9% (14-27) in the half.
Three consecutive Augsburg three pointers, two by Olson and one by Ben Flavin, sparked a 12-0 run that tied the game at 47-47 with 15:45 remaining. Olson scored 13 second half points, shooting 4-for-5 from the field and 3-for-4 from behind the arc. Gustavus responded with a 7-0 run (54-47) that was capped off by a three pointer by Tyler Gray at the 12:48 mark. Augsburg took the lead at the 5:09 point, as a jumper by Jon Cassens put the Auggies up 63-61. Augsburg would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game. Gustavus was forced to foul down three points with under :10 seconds to play, yet Augsburg went 4-for-4 from the free throw line to hold on to the five-point victory. Augsburg shot 57.1% (12-21) in the second half, as Gustavus struggled from the field shooting 37.5% (12-32).
Gustavus finished the game going 28-for-61 (45.9%) from the field, while hitting 8-of-10 from behind the arc. Augsburg went 26-for-48 (54.2%) from the floor and 9-for-18 (50%) from three-point range. Dan Schmidtknecht was the only other Gustie to score in double figures, as he finished with 13 points, shooting a perfect 6-for-6 from the field. Cassens (17 pts), Flavin (15 pts), and Grzesiak-Grimm (10 pts) all scored in double figures to go along with teammate David Olson’s 23 points.
Gustavus falls to 12-7 overall and 10-4 in the MIAC, as Augsburg improves to 14-5 overall and 9-5 in the MIAC.
Gustavus will host Macalester College on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 pm in St. Peter, Minn.