Minneapolis – After picking up a big win over St. Thomas on Saturday and moving into a tie for first place in the conference standings, the Gustavus men’s basketball team refused to have a letdown after a short turnaround on Monday night against Augsburg. The Gusties were able to build a 23-point lead in a strong first half performance, holding off a second half surge by Augsburg to win 73-63.
Gustavus picks up its third-straight win, improving to 14-5 overall and 11-3 in the MIAC. With the loss, Augsburg drops to 12-7 overall and 9-5 in the MIAC.
For the second game in a row, four Gustavus players hit the scoresheet with double-digit points. Tyler Grey led the team in scoring for the second time this season, dropping 15 points after going 6-for-8 from the field and 3-for-5 from three-point range. Seth Anderson finished with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while Jim Hill (4-9) and Blake Shay (3-5) contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Gustavus shot over 50-percent from the floor for the ninth time this season, going 28-for-50 (56%) from field, 7-for-11 (63.6%) from three-point range, and 10-for-16 (62.5%) at the charity stripe.
A layup by Paul Blacklock at the 9:59 mark lit the spark that broke the game open in the first half. The Gusties went on a 16-1 scoring run in just over seven minutes to take a 38-15 lead after a pair of Blake Shay free throws.
Augsburg would make a 7-2 run to close the half and bring the score to 40-22 at the break. Gustavus was a hot 63-percent from the field in the opening half. Augsburg, in comparison, shot just 30.8-percent. Twelve of Tyler Grey’s 15 total points came in the first half as he went 5-for-5 from the field and 2-for-2 from downtown. Gustavus was 4-for-4 from beyond the arc in the first half.
After Gustavus took a 47-25 lead with 17:56 left to play, Augsburg slowly began to chip away at the lead, cutting the margin to 11 points by the 13:08 mark. The Gustavus lead would range between the 14 and 17 points until an 8-0 run brought the Auggies to within nine points (61-52) by the 6:46 point.
Six points (67-61) would be as close as Augsburg would get, as Gustavus hit 5-of-6 free tosses in the final minute to secure the 10-point win.
Seth Anderson scored eight points in the second half to lead the Gusties. Adam Michel, Jim Hill, and Blake Shay all scored six points. Shay was 2-for-3 from three-point land in the half, hitting two-straight triples in the heart of the frame.
Augsburg finished 23-of-57 (40.4%) from the field, 5-of-21 (23.8%) from three, and 12-of-16 (75%) at the stripe. It is the second time in three games that Gustavus has held an opponent to under 30-percent shooting from three-point range.
Andy Grzesiak-Grimm (8-18) registered a double-double with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds. Andy Seidlitz also reached double-figures with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
Ben Biewen finished with a season-high seven assists and five rebounds, while Paul Blacklock led the Gusties on the glass with seven boards.
The Gustavus men’s basketball team will cap the week with a home challenge against St. Olaf College on Wednesday night at Gus Young Court. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.