Men’s Basketball Fights Off Minnesota Morris, Wins Home-Opener 77-73 Posted on November 22nd, 2014 by

Chad Poppen scored 14 points in a 77-73 victory over the University of Minnesota, Morris.

ST. PETER, MINN. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team managed to hold off the University of Minnesota, Morris on Saturday afternoon at Gus Young Court by a final score of 77-73. With the win, Gustavus improves its record to 2-1 overall, while Minnesota Morris falls to 1-3.

Gustauvs had a lead of 15 (40-25) in the first half and led by as many as 13 (60-47) with 10:01 remaining in the second, but the Cougars managed to claw their way back into the game and tie things up at 64-64 with 3:22 remaining. However, a 6-0 run put Gustavus back in the driver’s seat and the Gusties managed to hold on the rest of the way, eventually coming away victorious 77-73.

“We need to do little things better,” said head coach Mark Hanson “They were a very scrappy group and ended up with more of the loose balls and made more of the hustle plays. Sometimes it seemed as though we weren’t hungry enough to make those types of plays and take care of the ball.”

Gustavus got off to a slow start and trailed 8-11 with 13:46 remaining in the first half. But the Gusties kept it close and tied the game at 21-21 with 8:44 remaining in the first. Then, with the game tied at 21-21, Gustavus went on a 19-4 run over the next 7:18, thanks in large part to the play of Brody Ziegler (Jr., Mankato, Minn.) and Chad Poppen (Jr., St. Peter, Minn.) who scored four and five points, respectively during the run. Poppen continued to make key plays for the Gusties throughout the game, and finished with 14 points, tied with Zieger for the team lead.

“Chad has worked very hard in the off season to improve his game and has really done that for his whole career,” said Hanson. “He’s been dedicated and has steadily gotten better. He’s developed into a better athlete, has improved his shooting and has used two years of experience to his benefit.”

Following halftime, Gustavus continued to keep the pressure on the Cougars by limiting turnovers and playing strong defense. However, with 10 minutes remaining, the Cougars began to fight their way back into the game, by hitting timely shots, diving on loose balls and taking advantage of Gustie turnovers, and by the 3:22 mark had tied the game at 64-64.

“They made some key shots and took advantage of some of our sloppy defense which gave them some momentum and got them back in the game,” said Hanson. “The good thing is we halted that momentum, put some baskets in back-to-back and gave ourselves enough of a lead.”

A timely pair of free-throws from senior Isaac Tapp (Stewartville, Minn.), a layup from Martin Feddersen (Sr., Winona, Minn.) and four more vital points from Ziegler put the Gustie lead at 74-69 with :30 seconds remaining. Gustavus was then able to hold on and close the game out, coming away with its second victory of the season.

“Our seniors are guys that have been through the ringer a little bit and it was great to see them come through for us at the end,” said Hanson. “We’ll be looking for them to continue to play key roles for us as the season continues.”

Gustavus finished the game with a 52.6-percent field-goal percentage (30-57), including a 35.7-percent clip from three-point range. Ziegler and Poppen led the Gustie scoring with 14, with  Peter Kruize (So., St. Peter, Minn.) and Tapp chipping in 10 apiece. Gary Cooper (Jr., Detroit, Mich.) pulled down a team high six boards and Feddersen dished out five assists to lead Gustavus.

The Gusties will next be in action when they host Bethany Lutheran College on Tuesday at Gus Young Court. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

Box Score



Comments are closed.