The Gustavus men’s basketball team suffered a 75-51 loss at the hands of first place St. Thomas on Wednesday night in the Gangelhoff Center on the campus of Concordia University in St. Paul. The Tommies shot 57.4% (31-54) in the game, while Gustavus shot just 36.4% (20-55). St. Thomas’s Sam Eicher (6-7) and Joe Scott (5-9) both scored a game-high 14-points in the game, as Ryan McPartland (5-6) led Gustavus with 10 points.
Gustavus moves to 14-10 overall and now sits tied with Augsburg in second place in the MIAC standings with a 12-7 record. St. Thomas improves to 22-2 overall and is in first place in the MIAC with an 18-1 record.
Gustavus went into the halftime break trailing 11-points with the score 39-28. The Tommies led 17-8 after a Noah Kaiser layup at the 12:57 mark. Gustavus responded with a 7-0 run that cut the lead to two points (17-15) with just under 11 minutes remaining in the half. It would be the closest the Gusties would come, as St. Thomas answered with a 12-2 run that put the Tommies back up 29-17 with 6:20 remaining in the half. The Gusties shot 42.3% (11-26) from the field in the half, as St. Thomas shot 59.3% (16-27).
St. Thomas picked up the full court pressure at the start of the second half, making another 12-2 scoring run and leading 51-30 just three minutes into the second half. Gustavus turned the ball over four times within the first three minutes of the half, three of which turned into St. Thomas points on the ensuing possession. St. Thomas led by as many as 24-points in the half, as Eicher led the way, shooting 4-for-5 from the field for 10 points. St. Thomas shot 57.4% (15-27) in the half, as Gustavus shot 36.4% (9-29).
Gustavus went just 3-for-11 (27.3%) from behind the arc in the game, yet shot a perfect 8-for-8 form the free throw line. St. Thomas went 5-for-12 (41.7%) from three point range, going 8-for-10 from the line.
The Gustavus men’s basketball team will play the final game of the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 20, against St. John’s in St. Peter, Minn. at 3:00 pm. The game is designated as Senior Day, and is dedicated to Gustavus seniors Sam Paulson, Jesse Van Sickle, Ryan McPartland, and Mychal Crowder.