Men’s Basketball Tops UW-Eau Claire 61-47 On Day Two Of Eau Claire Holiday Classic Posted on December 29th, 2012 by

Ben Biewen led the Gusties with 16 points.

Ben Biewen led the Gusties with 16 points.

Eau Claire, Wis. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team topped UW-Eau Claire by the score of 61-47 on Saturday night to finish the Eau Claire Holiday Classic unbeaten after a 71-60 victory over UW-Superior last night.  The Gusties held the Blugolds to 32.7-percent (17-for-52) shooting from the field for the game on the way to the 14-point victory.  Gustavus improves to 4-5 on the year.  UW-Eau Claire falls to 6-7 overall.

A tightly contested first six minutes saw the Blugolds on top 8-7 at the 13:45 mark of the first half.  It proved to be the last lead for UW-Eau Claire, as Gustavus exploded on a 14-0 run that boosted the Gusties to an early 13-point lead.  From there, Gustavus would never look back.

The run was sparked by a Ben Biewen (Sr., Edina, Minn.) three-pointer with 13:29 remaining in the opening frame.  Brody Ziegler (Fy., Mankato, Minn.) came off the bench to pour in back-to-back jumpers to extend the Gustie lead to six at 14-8.  At the 10:49 mark, Isaac Tapp (So., Stewartville, Minn.) converted an and-one at the free throw line after being fouled on a layup.  Jim Hill (Sr., Edina, Minn.) and Reed Sallstrom (Sr., Winthrop, Minn.) hit jumpers on consecutive possessions to cap the run and extend the lead to 13 at 21-8 with 8:43 to play in the first 20 minutes.

The Gusties would push their lead to as many as 19 in the first half on a Biewen jumper with 3:45 to go in the first.  It would prove to be the largest lead of the game for the Black and Gold.  UW-Eau Claire put together a 6-2 run over the final minutes of the opening frame to cut the Gustie lead to 15 heading to halftime with a score of 34-19.  The Blugolds shot just 32-percent (8-for-25) compared to 54.2-percent (13-for-24) for the Gusties.  UW-Eau Claire turned the ball over eight times in the half, which lead to 10 Gustavus points.

Gustavus held on to its double-figure lead for much of the second half despite cooling off from the field.  UW-Eau Claire was able to cut the lead to single digits just once in the frame, which came on a free throw from Nick Craggs.  Two possessions later, Hill connected on 2-of-2 free throws, and the Gusties were back in control.  Gustavus shot just 31.6-percent (6-for-19) from the field, but cashed in on 73.7-percent (14-for-19) of its free throws to seal the 14-point victory.

Ben Biewen led the way for the Gusties.  Biewen scored 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field including 2-for-2 from three-point range and 2-for-3 from the free throw line.  He also added three rebounds and three assists.  Isaac Tapp came next with 13 points going a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity stripe, while Jim Hill was the only other Gustie to record double-figures with 10 points.  Despite shooting just 2-for-9 from the field, Hill went 6-for-8 from the line.  For the second night in a row, Brody Ziegler provided a career-best off the bench.  The first-year bested his seven-point performance from last night with nine points on 4-for-6 shooting.

Lewis Mau led all scorers in the game with 17 points on 6-for-13 shooting, including three treys.  Nick Craggs was the only other Blugold in double-figures with 14 points on 5-for-13 shooting.  Craggs also pulled down 12 rebounds to record the double-double.

The Gusties will be back in action Wednesday, January 2nd when they travel to Winona for a 7:30 tip-off with Saint Mary’s University.

Box Score



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