The Gustavus men’s basketball team used a balance scoring attack on its way to a 68-52 victory over Macalester on Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minn. Ten different Gustie players hit the scoresheet with points, as the team shot over 50-percent from the field for the third time in four games. Seth Anderson, Tyler Grey, and Ben Biewen combined for 32 points, as Anderson led the way with 12, and Grey and Biewen both added 10.
The conference-leading Gustavus men’s basketball team extends its winning-streak to six games, improving to 17-5 overall 14-3 in the MIAC. Macalester heads home at 1-22 overall and 1-17 in the MIAC.
“These last few games were scary in that we were playing teams that, when you look at records, don’t look very good,” said Head Coach Mark Hanson. “But as I’ve maintained before, I think they are good teams with poor records. They don’t have quite the firepower, but they play really hard. It was a little bit workman like and hopefully we can keep that work ethic going.”
The Gusties, and more specifically Ben Biewen, started out the game on fire, taking an 11-2 lead following a Biewen three-pointer. Ben went 3-for-3 to start and scored seven points within the run. He would finish the game with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting in just nine minutes, having to sit the majority of the contest due to foul trouble.
Gustavus kept the pressure on five minutes later when back-to-back triples by Blake Shay then Tyler Grey extended the lead to 19-9 with 11:35 left in the half.
The Scots were able to battle back and cut the deficit to 28-23 following a 12-to-5 run that was capped by a Bert Yaffe three at the 5:20 mark.
The Black and Gold answered the Scot run right back with an 11-to-2 swing to end the half. Macalester scored just once in the final 4:18, as a Grey three-pointer at the buzzer sent the Gusties to the locker room with a 39-25 advantage. Gustavus outshot the Scots 53.3-to-36.7-percent in the opening half.
Following a quick six points at the start of the second half, Gustavus was on top 45-25. From that point, the Gustavus defensive prowess began to shine. The Gusties held the Scots scoreless for over five minutes in the heart of the frame. Pierce Peters was able to snap the drought and cut the lead to 58-34 on a pair of free throws at the 9:24 mark.
Gustavus built a 60-34 lead by the 8:04 mark and it was all down hill from there. The Gusties shot 48.1-percent from the field in the half. Adam Michel and Anderson led Gustavus with six points each, while Jim Hill, Sallstrom, and Bobby Johnson all contributed four.
Today’s game was another in a recent line of contests in which the Gusties have limited their opponents to a field goal shooting percentage either near, or below the 40-percent mark. The Scots finished the game 20-for-55 (36.4%) from the field, 5-for-14 from three-point range (35.7%), and 7-for-15 (46.7%) at the free throw line.
“If you can keep any team under 40-percent shooting, you are doing a good job. Our shooting in the second half wasn’t quite what it can be, but we are going to keep working at it.” said Hanson.
Senior post Bobby Johnson added, “We’re getting a lot better at staying down, going straight up, and staying out of foul trouble. We are staying disciplined and bringing energy every game, and that’s something we’ve got to continue to do.”
Anderson finished the game 6-for-11 from the field, while Tyler Grey went 4-for-8 from the floor and 2-for-4 from three. Adam Michel and Reed Sallstrom filled out the box score, as Michel scored eight points (4-5), brought down six rebounds, distributed four assists, and turned in four steals. Sallstrom also scored eight while leading the team on the glass with seven boards. Blake Shay rounded out the top scorers with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting.
Gustavus went 29-for-57 (50.9%) from the floor, 5-for-11 (45.5%) at the charity stripe, and 5-for-6 (83.3%) from three.
The Gustie cagers will embark on their final week of the regular season Monday, Feb. 13 when they travel to Collegeville, Minn. to take on Saint John’s at 7:30 p.m.