Men’s Basketball Wins Home Opener 71-62 Over Simpson Posted on November 21st, 2015 by

Gary Cooper led the Gusties with 15 points in the win over Simpson.


ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team beat Simpson College 71-62 in its home opener Saturday night to improve to 1-1 on the season. The Gusties started the second half with the hot hand, going on a 19-6 run for their largest lead of the night at 53-33, propelling them to victory.

Brody Ziegler is fouled as he goes up for a shot. Ziegler finished with six points and eight rebounds.

Brody Ziegler is fouled as he goes up for a shot. Ziegler finished with six points and eight rebounds.

Gary Cooper (Sr., Detroit, Mich.) led the Gustavus offense with a team-high 15 points, including seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. Chad Poppen (Sr., St. Peter, Minn.) also reached double figures with 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Sergio Najera (Sr., New Prague, Minn.) led the Gusties down on the blocks with nine rebounds, while Brody Ziegler (Sr., Mankato, Minn.) was also a key rebounder with eight boards.

Simpson started the game with momentum on its side as it jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first three minutes. The Gusties responded, though, with eight unanswered points and led 10-7 at the 15:28 mark. Over the next six minutes Gustavus increased its lead to as much as six points at 21-15, but the Storm came back with eight unanswered points for a 23-21 advantage. The Gusties regained their composure, and the lead, with a 13-4 run to close out the first half with a 34-27 lead at the break.

Gustavus continued to increase the point differential early in the second half with 19 points in the first seven minutes of the half. The Gusties maintained a comfortable double-digit lead until the Storm crawled back into the game with 10 unanswered points over a four-minute span, resulting in a 60-52 Gustavus advantage at the 4:28 mark. The Black and Gold was able to fend off the Simpson comeback attempt as it regained a double-figure lead on the ensuing possession and held on for a nine-point victory.

Gustavus shot 46.3-percent from the field, compared to 34.9-percent from the Storm. The Gusties out-rebounded the Storm 44-34, but lost the turnover battle 17-9. A difference in the game proved to be Gustavus’s production from the bench. The Gustie bench recorded 38 points compared to Simpson’s 23 bench points.

Gustavus will likely make up its game against Buena Vista – originally scheduled for yesterday – on Sunday, Nov. 29 in St. Peter. Nothing is confirmed at this time, but more details will be posted as they become available.


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