Men’s Basketball Finishes 2014 Strong, Defeats Hamline 82-61

Posted on December 13th, 2014 by

ST. PETER, MINN. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team finished the year 2014 in style, taking home an 82-61 over Hamline University on Saturday afternoon at Gus Young Court. The win was the sixth straight for Gustavus, who will head into the New Year with a 3-0 mark in the MIAC and a 7-1 record overall. Following the loss, Hamline falls to 1-3 in the MIAC and 4-4 overall.

“I thought we gave a strong effort today,” said head coach Mark Hanson. “We wanted to finish the year on a positive note and I definitely think we accomplished that. A win like this is a great way to finish off this pre-Christmas stretch.”

As they did in their last game against Carleton, Gustavus jumped out of the gates early, taking leads of 10-2 at the 14:55 mark in the first half and 20-10 with 10:17 to play. However, unlike their game against the Knights, Gustavus kept the pressure on throughout the half and by halftime had built a 43-23 lead. Similar to what he has done in the Gusties’ past few games, Sergio Najera (Jr., New Prague, Minn.) led the Gustie charge in the first half, scoring 12 of his 14 points in the first half on 6-of-11 shooting.

“One of the issues we’ve had in a few games so far is letting teams back into games,” said Hanson. “I thought we did a nice job of continuing to push and even extending the lead, especially at the beginning of the second half which is where we’ve had the most trouble so far this season.”

In the second half, the Gustavus lead never went below 19 and with 8:09 remaining in the game, led by a 28-point margain (71-43). The Gustie defense remained steady for the remainder of the game, the offense kept the ball moving and by game’s end, the Gusties has secured an 82-61 victory.

“I thought our offense clicked well,” said Hanson. “We were very unselfish, which I think we generally are anyway, but today we were even more so. After a couple of plays near the end where we were a little bit more selfish, we made up for it on the following plays when we gave up the ball when we probably didn’t even need to just to create a better shot. Everyone likes to see that type of play; our fans like to see that and our players strive to make that happen. They know that if they give it up, they’ll get it back.”

The Gusties were led by Brody Ziegler’s (Jr., Mankato, Minn.) 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting and four rebounds. Najera was right behind him with 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting and Martin Feddersen (Sr., Winona, Minn.) tallied a near double-double, scoring 10 points on 3-of-3 shooting, grabbed nine boards and dished out a game-high five assists. Isaac Tapp (Sr., Stewartville, Minn.) scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, Peter Kruize (So., St. Peter, Minn.) poured in 10 on 5-of-9 shooting and Gary Cooper (Jr., Detroit, Mich.) notched eight points on 4-of-9 shooting and secured six rebouds.

As a team, the Gusties shot 57.8-percent from the floor (37-of-64), compared to Hamline’s 43.1-percent (22-of-51). Dylan See-Rockers’s 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting led the Pipers, while Dior Ford followed him with 12 on 5-of-12 shooting.

The Gusties will be off for the next two weeks and won’t return to game action until Jan. 3 when they will travel to St. Olaf College for a 3 p.m. game at Skoglund Center.

“They’ll be off for the next two weeks for finals and break, which is a good time for them to get home and rejuvenate themselves,” said Hanson. “I think our guys have earned a nice break and it’ll be a good chance for them to come back rested for a busy January.”

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