St. Paul, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team built a 27-point halftime lead and did not look back on its way to an 86-61 victory over Hamline Saturday afternoon at Hutton Arena. Six Gusties scored in double-figures on the day, led by Blake Shay (Sr., Lakeville, Minn.) with 18 points off the bench. With the win, Gustavus climbs to 11-9 (9-7 MIAC) on the season while Hamline falls to 8-12 (5-11 MIAC).
After four ties in the first 8:51 of play, Jordan Dick (Jr., Wabasha, Minn.) knocked down a three-pointer at the 11:09 mark that sparked a 24-1 run for Gustavus to take a 23-point lead midway through the first half. Eight different Gusties scored in the surge, which was capped off by back-to-back treys from Chad Poppen (Fr., St. Peter, Minn.). Poppen nailed another triple in the final seconds of the opening half to open up Gustavus’ largest lead of the game with a 27 point halftime advantage (47-20).
Gustavus shot 57.7-percent (15-26) from the floor compared to 31.8-percent (7-22) for Hamline in the first 20 minutes. The Gusties also held the advantage in the turnover category. Gustavus turned the ball over nine times in the half contrasted to 18 giveaways for Hamline. The Gustie men also held a 23-8 advantage in points off turnovers .
A tightly-contested second half saw the Pipers outscore the Gusties 41-39, but it was too little to late for Hamline as the damage was already done. Gustavus led by 30 points (50-20) before the Pipers were able to cut the lead to 16 points (59-43). From there, the Gusties retrieved control and cruised to the 25-point victory.
For the game, Gustavus shot 56-percent (28-50) from the field compared to 43.6-percent (24-55) for Hamline. The Gusties also held the turnover advantage of 23-17. The 23 Piper turnovers led to 30 points for the Black and Gold. However, the Gusties were outscored in the paint by a count of 44-24, including a 34-14 mark in the second half.
Six Gustavus players finished in double-figure scoring, led by Blake Shay off the bench with 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the floor including a pair from deep. Shay also added five rebounds and five assists. Jim Hill (Sr., Edina, Minn.) came next with 17 points. Although shooting just 4-for-10 from the field, Hill made good on 8-of-9 free throws and also added four assists. Ben Biewen (Sr., Edina, Minn.) scored 12 points on the afternoon, eight of which came from the charity stripe, and added six assists. Jordan Dick, Reed Sallstrom (Sr., Winthrop, Minn.) and Chad Poppen all scored 10 points on the day.
The Gusties will be back in action Monday, Feb. 4th when they travel to St. Paul to face Macalester. Opening tip is set for 7:30 p.m.