Men’s Basketball Earns Senior Night Win Over Bethel 77-67

Posted on February 16th, 2015 by

Senior co-captains Martin Feddersen (left) and Isaac Tapp were honored as a part of Senior Night in the Gusties' 77-67 win over Bethel on Monday (photo courtesy of Roisen Granlund '16).

SAINT PETER, MINN. – When it mattered most, the Gustavus men’s basketball team was able to play its best basketball and earned a 77-67 victory over Bethel University on Monday evening at Gus Young Court. The win fortifies the Gusties’ playoff hopes, as it improves their record to 10-8 in the MIAC and 14-9 overall, moving them into a tie for fifth place in the conference standings with Concordia. Meanwhile, Bethel falls to 11-7 in the MIAC and 15-8 overall.

“This is one of our first games all year where our whole team was able to put forth a complete effort,” said senior co-captain Martin Feddersen (Winona, Minn.). “We played the full 60 minutes and got contributions from everyone. It was a lot of fun out there.”

Martin Feddersen tallied six points and six rebounds in his final regular season game on Gus Young Court.

Martin Feddersen tallied six points and six rebounds in his final regular season game on Gus Young Court.

Gustavus found itself in an early 12-6 hole at the 16:16 mark in the first half following nine combined points from Royal leading scorers Kyle Zimmerman and Kyle von_Schmidt-Pauli. Less than one minute later, the Gusties had that lead down to one thanks to a Chad Poppen (Jr., St. Peter, Minn.) three-pointer and Gary Cooper (Jr., Detroit, Mich.) steal and layup. The two teams continued to go back and forth for the next two minutes, until Bethel went on a 10-4 run to take a 27-19 lead with 9:45 remaining in the first half.

But Gustavus fought back and executed a 12-0 run of its own over the next five and a half minutes, keyed by points from six different Gusties, to take a 31-27 lead with 4:27 to play in the opening frame. Bethel clawed back though, and managed to take a slim 36-35 advantage into the half.

“We wanted to come out in the second half a little more disciplined and get in better defensive positions,” said senior co-captain Isaac Tapp (Stewartville, Minn.). “We got away from that a little bit in the first half and let some good athletes go back door on us too much.”

In the second half, Bethel maintained its slim advantage for approximately six minutes. The Royals led 46-43 with 15:35 to play before Gustavus went on an 11-0 run over the next 4:18 minutes to take a 54-46 advantage and a lead that would stick for the remainder of the game.

“I think we came out and executed better in the second half,” said Feddersen. “We were able to take away some of their back doors and some of their slips. Ideally, we’d like to play a bit better in the first half so we don’t have to make a comeback like we did tonight and if we do that, we can play with anyone.”

“I think when we’re at our best is when our defensive intensity is at its highest,” added Tapp. “We get those stops or steals and then some quick outlets and are able to push the ball a little bit more and get some points in transition.”

The Royals would not go away quietly though, and with 6:18 to play had cut the Gustie lead to 64-60. However, a Tapp three-pointer would spark a 7-0 Gustavus run over the next minute and a half to give Gustavus a 71-60 lead and seemingly give the Black and Gold the momentum it so needed to finish the game.

Isaac Tapp hit a key three-pointer down the stretch to help seal Gustavus's 10-point victory. Tapp finished with nine total points.

Isaac Tapp hit a key three-pointer down the stretch to help seal Gustavus’s 10-point victory. Tapp finished with nine total points.

“One of my favorite all-time plays for Ike might be that three he hit for us,” said head coach Mark Hanson. “That was a huge, huge shot for us and really helped to give us a spark that we needed at the time.”

Bethel continued to remain resilient and cut the Gustie lead to 72-67 with 1:30 to play, but Gustavus would go on a 5-0 run by making 5-of-6 free-throws to close the game and secure the 10-point win.

“Bethel is a team that scores a lot of points and has some great players so I thought our team defense was key tonight,” said Feddersen. “Every single one of our guys had to help out and then get back to their man and it was truly just a great team effort on our part I thought.”

For the second game in a row, Gustavus eclipsed the 70-point mark thanks to a 64 percent team field goal percentage. The team’s percentage was the highest since it shot 65.9 percent against Northwestern University on Dec. 6, 2014 and was its second highest percentage of the season.

Poppen, who started his first career game on Monday, led the Gusties in scoring for the second game in a row with 14 on 5-of-8 shooting, including going 2-for-3 from downtown. Peter Kruize (Jr. St. Peter, Minn.) was next with 13 points and four rebounds and Cooper and Sergio Najera (Jr., New Prague, Minn.) rounded out Gustavus’s double-digit scorers with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

von_Schmidt-Paul led Bethel with 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Zimmerman was next with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting and Bridgeport Tusler followed with 12 points by going 5-for-9 from the floor. As a whole, the Royals shot 46.2 percent from the field.

Gustavus will now hit the road for its final two regular season contests, with its next game taking place on Wednesday night at Macalester College. Tip-off for that game is set for 7 p.m. at Leonard Center.

As is tradition at Gustavus, the final home game of the regular season was designated as Senior Night and a special tribute was made to the individuals who dedicated themselves to the Gustavus men’s basketball program for the past four years. This year, the Gusties honored Feddersen and Tapp as their two lone seniors.

“It went by a little bit too quick, but it was fun and I really enjoyed my career here,” said Feddersen.

“It’s cliche, but it really has gone by fast…too fast really…I feel like I just got here,” said Tapp. “Tonight was one of my favorite moments here actually…this was a huge win for us…we really needed it. We had a great showing here on Senior Night and had a great crowd and played a complete game for them so that was a lot of fun.”

Gustavus 77, Bethel 67 (Box Score) | Photo Gallery


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