St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team continued its strong start to the 2013-14 campaign with a convincing 74-54 win over Augsburg College on Monday night at Gus Young Court. Gustavus did its damage in the first half, as the Gustie men took a 15-point lead (45-30) into halftime and would never look back in the 20-point win. Isaac Tapp (Jr., Stewartville, Minn.) paced the Gustie offensive attack, leading all scorers with 20 points on the night. With the win, Gustavus improves to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in MIAC play, while Augsburg falls to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the MIAC.
“We played well as a team tonight,” stated Martin Feddersen (Jr., Winona, Minn.) of his team’s performance. “Everybody contributed and it was a big win for us because we previously had two wins in conference play, but they were against teams that don’t have the expectations attached to them like Augsburg. Coming in, this team was ranked second in the MIAC, so this is a good win against a higher caliber team early in the year.”
Gustavus made its first statement of the contest midway through the first half with a 9-0 run that gave the Gusties the cushion they were looking for. Trailing 12-11 with 12:58 remaining in the opening frame, an offensive rebound and put-back by Brody Ziegler (So., Mankato, Minn.) sparked the run, which featured four Augsburg turnovers that led to seven points for Gustavus.
The Gusties extended their lead to double-figures for the first time in the game on an Isaac Tapp three-pointer that gave Gustavus a 34-22 lead with 5:40 left in the half. The Gustie men would lead by as many as 17 points before taking a 15-point lead (45-30) into halftime.
The Auggies opened the second half with a Dan Kornbaum layup to cut the lead to 13 points (45-32), but it would be all the closer they would come, as Jordan Dick (Sr., Wabasha, Minn.) answered with a three on Gustavus’s next possession to extend the lead to 48-32.
From there, Augsburg would show a sign of life just once more. After the Gusties had extended the lead to 20 points (59-39) with 11:35 remaining, the Auggies put together a 5-0 run to close the gap to 15 points (59-44), but Gustavus responded with an 11-4 run that extinguished all hope for Augsburg. The run gave the Gusties their largest lead of the night (22 points), and would be more than enough to cruise to the 20-point victory.
For the game, Gustavus shot 60.4 percent (32-53) from the field, while Augsburg was held to just 35.4 percent (17-48) shooting. The Auggies, who had been averaging 76 points per game and shooting 47.2 percent from the floor, were held to their lowest field goal percentage and second-lowest point total of the season on Wednesday night. Gustavus also held narrow margins in rebounding (27-26) and turnovers (11-13).
Gustavus was led in scoring by Isaac Tapp, who finished with a career-high 20 points on 9 of 11 shooting from the field. He also added a team-high four rebounds along with a pair of assists. Brian Jacobs (Jr., Lake Crystal, Minn.) was the only other Gustie to finish in double-figures. The junior poured in 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting and also added four rebounds. Martin Feddersen came next with nine points to go along with a team-high four assists and five steals.
Augsburg was led in scoring by Dan Kornbaum and Andy Seidlitz with 16 points each. Kornbaum went 6 for 12 from the floor and 4 for 4 from the free throw line. He also chipped in a game-high nine boards and three blocks. Seidlitz was just 3 of 9 from the field, but did his damage at the free throw line, where he was 9 of 12 on the evening. Augsburg’s leading scorer, Noah Veach, who had averaged 20.6 points per game entering the contest, was held to just 10 points on 4 of 8 shooting.
“We wanted to make things difficult for them and for each player that meant a different thing,” explained Feddersen. “For Kornbaum, we wanted to limit his touches and make it difficult for him to get good position. When he gets the ball where he wants it, it’s almost impossible to stop him. For Veach, we wanted to keep him off the glass, and for Seidlitz we wanted to limit his open shots. I think we did all three of those things well tonight, and if we continue to do that and know where our strengths are, I think we will be successful.”
The Gusties will be back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 11th when they travel to Collegeville, Minn., for a match up with Saint John’s University. It will be the final game prior to the Holiday break for the Gustie men. Wednesday’s opening tip is set for 7:30 p.m.
“They are a good team that brings back a lot of guys from last year,” commented Feddersen about his team’s next opponent. “We are going to see a lot of dribble-drive with a lot of quickness, and it’s always tough to play there. Every game in the MIAC is tough, and Wednesday is no different.”