St. Peter, Minn. – For the second straight night, the Gustavus men’s basketball team defeated a member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC). On Saturday night, the victim was Buena Vista University in an 82-69 victory for the Gusties. With the win, Gustavus improves to 2-0 on the season, while the Beavers fall to 0-2 with the loss.
“The win feels great,” said senior wing Jordan Dick (Wabasha, Minn.). Getting out and playing against somebody else these last two days have been nice rather than just going against ourselves.
After shooting 62.7 percent (32-51) from the field one night prior, the Gusties picked up right where they left off, making their first seven shots to begin the game on Saturday and open up a 17-6 lead. Gustavus would take its largest lead of the first half at the 10:04 mark on a three-pointer by Chad Poppen (So., St. Peter, Minn.) that would bring the score to 29-17. The Beavers would cut the lead to three points three minutes later, but the Gusties would extend their lead to nine points with the score 46-37 heading into halftime.
“We played a pretty good team,” said Head Coach Mark Hanson. “I thought that for a team that is as young and as experienced as we are, we came out and played with a level of maturity I didn’t necessarily expect, and we will see if we can continue with that, but we had a lot of guys give us some good minutes.
The two teams traded baskets to open the second half before the Gusties took off on a 12-0 run. Back-to-back three-pointers by Brian Jacobs (So., Lake Crystal, Minn.) and Jordan Dick opened the run, which was capped by a Jacobs layup.
From there, the Beavers would cut the lead to eight points on a layup from Brett Heitkamp, but a Brody Ziegler (So., Mankato, Minn.) jumper on the next possession would push the lead back to double-digits, which is where it would stay for the remainder of the night.
Gustavus shot 53.2 percent (33-62) from the field in the game, including a 55-percent (11-20) rate from the three-point line. Most impressive, the Gusties registered 23 assists on their 33 made baskets.
“This team is fun to watch because they don’t seem to care who scores,” Hanson mentioned. “It’s a lot easier to shoot well when you take good shots. That is part of their willingness in sharing the ball is that it creates good shots for somebody else, and it’s so much easier to shoot when you know you should be shooting it and everyone on the floor wants you to shoot it.”
Four Gusties scored in double-figures in the game, led by Jordan Dick. Dick scored a career-high 20 points on 8 for 12 shooting form the field and 4 for 6 from the three-point line. Brian Jacobs followed with 12 points, while Isaac Tapp (Jr., Stewartville, Minn.) and Martin Feddersen (Jr., Winona, Minn.) each had 10. Federsen also dished out 11 assists to register a double-double on the night. Chris Narum (So., Eagan, Minn.) was the team’s leading rebounder with six on the night.
With two impressive wins this weekend, coach Hanson is optimistic about his team.
“I hope this weekend gives us a level of confidence to continue to get better. Confidence can keep you from getting better if you start to think that’s just how good you are. When you beat a good team, it’s easy to become satisfied, and it’s far too early in the year and I think we have too much potential to think that.”
The Gusties will be back in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Mankato, Minn., to take on Bethany Lutheran at 7:00 p.m.