The Gustavus men’s basketball team saw its recent struggles continue with a 68-61 loss to Augsburg in Minneapolis on Wednesday night. The Gusties led 31-23 at the half, but Augsburg out-scored Gustavus 45-30 in the second half to claim the seven-point victory. Dan Schmidtknecht led the Gusties with 16 points, while Paul Blacklock pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Gusties got off to a slow start and trailed 17-16 midway through the first half, but Seth Anderson sparked an 11-2 run over a five minute stretch to give Gustavus a 27-19 lead at the 4:01 mark of the first half. The Gusties maintained their lead over the final four minutes and took an eight-point, 31-23 lead into the locker room at the intermission. Seth Anderson scored 12 points and Phil Wirtjes added 11 to lead Gustavus in the first half.
Early in the second half, Gustavus led 39-31, but the Auggies used an 11-3 run to tie the score at 42-42 at the 13:13 mark. The game remained tight the rest of the way and a Dan Schmidtknecht three-point basket at the 3:01 mark cut the Augsburg lead to two points at 60-58. The Gusties, however would struggle down the stretch shooting 1-for-4 in the final three minutes, while committing two critical turnovers and Augsburg made 4-of-4 from the free throw line to hold Gustavus off and claim the victory.
Three Gustie players reached double figures including Schmidtknecht with 16, Seth Anderson with 14, and Phil Wirtjes with 13. Cory Polta led Augsburg with 19 points.
Gustavus, which fell to 12-12 overall and 10-9 in the MIAC, will close out regular season play at home on Saturday against Saint Mary’s at 3:00 pm.