Men’s Basketball Loses Lead Late, Falls 75-73 At Northwestern In Season Opener

Posted on November 14th, 2015 by

Brody Zieler was a perfect 9-for-9 from the field in the loss at UNW.

Brody Ziegler was a perfect 9-for-9 from the field in the loss at UNW.

BOX SCORE

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team opened the season with a tightly contested 75-73 loss at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul on Saturday. The Gusties held a six-point lead with 2:26 remaining in the game, but the Eagles went on a 9-2 run to take a 74-73 lead with 37 seconds left in the game. Gustavus had an opportunity to tie the game with the last shot as time expired, but it bounced off the rim and UNW escaped with the victory.

Brody Ziegler (Sr., Mankato, Minn.) was perfect from the field as he went 9-for-9 for a team-high 19 points. He also hauled in a team-best 11 rebounds. Sergio Najera (Sr., New Prague, Minn.) and Riley Sharbono (Fy., Marshall, Minn.) also reached double-digit points with 13 and 12, respectively.

Northwestern started the game with the hot hand, jumping out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes. Gustavus responded with six unanswered points to come within one, but the Eagles never let go of the advantage in the first half. The Gusties and Eagles played within five points of each other for the remainder of the first half and UNW led 32-29 at halftime. Gustavus shot 36.7-percent (11-30) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes compared to 52.2 field goal percentage (12-23) by the Eagles.

The first 10 minutes of the second half was more of the same as UNW played with a slim advantage, leading by as much as five points (42-37) at the 16:14 mark. Gustavus took its first lead of the game at 54-53 with 9:10 left on the clock as Ziegler put in a layup. Northwestern regained the lead 30 seconds later, but the Gusties then went on an 8-1 run over the next four minutes to take a 62-56 lead. Northwestern continued to cut into the lead, but the Gusties had an answer and led 71-65 with 2:26 on the clock. At that point, the Eagles took back control of the game and held the Gusties to just two points the rest of the way.

Gustavus shot 63.3-percent from the floor in the second half, but the Eagles held the advantage with a 65.4-percent shooting percentage in the final 20 minutes. The Gusties out-rebounded the Eagles 33-25 and committed fewer turnovers, 9-11, but were unable to come away with the win.

Gustavus (0-1) returns to action next Friday for its home opener at Gus Young Court. The Gusties host Buena Vista University at 8 p.m.

 

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