The Gustavus men’s basketball team kicked off the D3hoops.com Classic with a 71-69 win over Hardin-Simmons University on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. In what was a back-and-forth affair from start to finish, a pair of Ben Biewen free throws with :20 seconds left turned out to be the difference, as Gustavus handed the Cowboys their first loss of the season. The Gusties improve to 5-3 overall with the victory, while Hardin-Simmons drops to 8-1 with the loss.
Leading scorers in the game included Seth Anderson and Cowboy Matt Addison. Anderson scored a team-high 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while Addison scored a game-high 32 points after going 12-of-24 from the field. Ten of Anderson’s 22 came at the free throw line, as Addison went 5-for-8 from three-point range.
Addison scored the Cowboys’ first 12 points of the game, and after a John Derr three-pointer with 14:02 left in the first half, Hardin-Simmons led 15-6. Hardin-Simmons led by as many as eight points (29-21) with 7:12 remaining in the opening half following an Addison three. Gustavus would then make a 10-2 run to tie the game at 31-31 after Tyler Grey hit a three-pointer with 2:34 left in the frame.
Seth Anderson converted a three-point-play with a three throw with :06 seconds on the clock to give the Gusties a 37-35 lead at the break.
Gustavus shot 46.4-percent in the first half, while the Cowboys shot 50-percent. Both Anderson and Blake Shay led the Gusties with 11 points in the first half. Shay went 5-for-6 from the field and brought down six rebounds, and Addison scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
With 16:05 left in the second half, a layup by Bobby Johnson sparked a 9-2 run that gave Gustavus a 48-41 lead with 13:59, the Gusties’ largest of the game.
With the score tied 55-55, a three-pointer by Addison at 7:26 gave the Cowboys their first lead of the second half at 58-55. With less than two minutes remaining, a put-back by Andy Spears gave Hardin-Simmons a 69-63 (1:57) lead and it looked as if the Cowboys were in control.
In a matter of a minute following the Spears bucket, Gustavus would score six unanswered points to tie the game at 69-69 with :57 seconds left to play. A pair of jumpers by Anderson and two free tosses by Biewen knotted the contest. A miss by Addison on the ensuing possession led to Biewen’s game-winning three throws and the eventual non-conference victory for the Gusties.
Addison scored 15 points in the second half, while Seth Anderson scored 11. Anderson was 3-for-4 from the field and 5-for-6 at the stripe in the second half.
The Gusties finished 21-of-48 (43.8%) from the field, 3-of-15 (20.0%) from three-point range, and 26-of-34 (76.5%) at the line. Blake Shay and Jim Hill joined Anderson in double-figures with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Hill went a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line. Shay’s 15 points are a career-high for the junior.
Derrick Jefferson was the only other Cowboy to join Addison in double-digits, scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Hardin Simmons shot 45.6-percent (26-57) from the field, 47.1-percent (8-17) from beyond the arc, and 52.9-percent (9-17) at the line.
The Gusties will look to finish the 2011 calendar year on a high note tomorrow night with a late game against Transylvania University at 11:00 p.m. (CST).