The Gustavus men’s basketball team got back on the winning track with a 63-44 win over Macalester on Wednesday night in St. Peter, Minn. Sam Paulson matched his season-high with 15 points, as Jesse Van Sickle added 13. Gustavus committed a season-low six turnovers in the game, as the Scots turned the ball over 24 times. The Gusties remain in second place in the conference standings with the victory, improving to 13-7 overall and 11-4 in the MIAC, as Macalester drops to 2-19 overall and 0-16 in the MIAC.
Gustavus was in control early, as the Gusties jumped out to an 11-3 lead at the 13:16 mark. Van Sickle caught fire in the first half, going 5-for-7 for a total of 11 points. The Gusties forced 14 turnovers while making eight steals, as the Scots struggled to find consistency on the offensive end. Gustavus’s largest lead of the half came on a three-pointer by Van Sickle with :46 seconds remaining, bringing the score to 33-17 at the break. Gustavus shot 41.2% (14-34) in the half, as Macalester shot just 26% (6-23).
Macalester stuck around in the opening minutes of the second half, as a layup by Kyle Hamblett sparked a 16-2 scoring run that brought the score to within four points at 39-35 with 14:28 left in the game. Hamblet led the Scots with nine points in the second half. Gustavus responded with a 10-2 run that gave them back a twelve point lead (49-37) with just under nine minutes remaining. The Scots would come within nine points at the 7:00 mark, yet five turnovers from that point on led to a 19-point Gustavus victory. Paulson led the team in scoring with eight second half points, as the Gusties shot 33.3% (10-30) from the field, while Macalester shot 62.5% (10-16).
Gustavus finished with a 37.5% (24-64) field goal percentage, while shooting just 18.2% (2-11) from three-point range. Macalester shot 41% (16-39) from the field and 33.3% (3-9) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Scots was Pierce Peters with 13 points and Kyle Hamblett with 11. Ryan McPartland turned in a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, as Dan Schmidtknecht registered a season-high eight assists while committing zero turnovers.
The Gustavus men’s basketball team will travel to St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 6, to take on Hamline University at 3:00pm.