The Gustavus men’s basketball team got out to a good start in the opening contest of the MIAC season with a 73-60 win over Hamline on the road in St. Paul Wednesday night. Riding the hot hand of guard Seth Anderson who tallied a game-high 23 points, the Gusties improve to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC, while Hamline falls to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the MIAC.
After going back-and-forth for much of the night, Gustavus lit up the scoreboard for 16 points in the final five minutes of the game, out-scoring the Pipers 16-7 within the time frame.
Hamline carried a 38-37 lead into the locker rooms at halftime, outshooting the Gusties 54.8-to-50.0-percent from the field in the half. Anderson led the way with 11 first half points, while Hamline’s Brandon Rieg scored 10. The Gusties turned the ball over 12 times, yet outrebounded the Pipers 17-to-9.
Gustavus took the lead 39-38 on a layup by Paul Blacklock to start the second half. The Gusties would hold the lead for the remainder, as Hamline closed the gap just once by tying the game at 45-45 (15:18) in the remaining minutes of the game.
The Gustavus defense bore down in the second half, limiting the Pipers to a 26.9-percent shooting percentage and benefiting from 14 Piper turnovers. The Gusties shot 41.7-percent from the floor in the second with Anderson leading the way with 12 points in the half. Gustavus committed just three turnovers in the half, winning the turnover battle in the game by a margin of 15-to-22.
Along with Anderson – who went 7-for-13 from the field and 9-for-14 at the free throw line, Ben Biewen and Adam Michel each reached double-figures by the final buzzer. Biewen scored 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting, while Michel turned in 11 points after going a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor.
Gustavus shot 46.3-percent (25-54) from the field and 35.3-percent (6-17) from three, yet went a cold 58.6-percent (17-29) at the charity stripe.
Hamline was led by Rieg (4-9) and Al Tillman (5-7) who each scored 11 points. The Pipers shot 42.1-percent (24-57) from the field, 26.1-percent (6-23) behind the arc, and 40.0-percent (6-15) at the line.
Because the University of St. Thomas is hosting St. John Fisher at 12:00 p.m. for an NCAA Quarterfinal football game on campus Saturday, Dec. 3, the Gustie men’s basketball team will take on St. Thomas at 8:00 p.m. in Schoenecker Arena.