Men’s Basketball Suffers Narrow 52-51 Defeat To Vassar In Puerto Rico Opener

Posted on December 28th, 2015 by

Chris Narum tallied eight points and six rebounds in Monday's game vs. Vassar.

Chris Narum tallied eight points and six rebounds in Monday’s game vs. Vassar.

Vassar 52, Gustavus 51 (Box)

TRUJILLO ALTO, P.R. – The Gustavus Adolphus College men’s basketball team suffered a narrow 52-51 defeat to Vassar College on Monday afternoon in its first game of the Puerto Rico Clasico at Coliseo Ruben Zayas Montanez. The loss drops the Gusties to 3-5 on the season and the squad has lost its past two games by just a combined six points.

Vassar used a 44.4 percent clip from beyond the arc and the trio of senior Erikson Wasyl, sophomore Jesse Browne, and first-year Paul Grinde to key the win, as the three players combined to score 51 of the Brewer’s 52 points on the afternoon.

The Gusties led early through the midway part of the first half, and took their largest lead of the contest at 7:43 of the opening period after a three-pointer from Riley Sharbono (Fy., Marshall, Minn.) made the score 22-14. From that point, Vassar outscored Gustavus 14-5 over the final seven minutes of the half to take a narrow 28-27 edge into halftime.

After the break, the two squads traded leads over the first three minutes, but Vassar jumped back on top with 16:22 to play on a three-pointer from Browne. The Brewers then opened up their largest lead of eight at 41-33 after a layup from Grinde with just over 10 minutes to play. The Gusties wouldn’t go quietly however, and took their final lead of the game of on a three-point shot from Chad Poppen (Sr., St. Peter, Minn.) with 1:51 remaining to make the score 48-47. Seconds later, Wasyl answered with a triple of his own to put Vassar back up two, and Grinde pushed the lead to four points on a driving layup with 31 seconds to play.

After a Brewer missed free throw, Chris Narum (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) drove the length of the floor and converted a traditional three-point play with 26 seconds remaining to bring the Vassar lead to just 52-51. Following a Narum foul, the Brewers missed both free-throws, giving the Gusties a chance to win it at the buzzer. However, a layup by Narum at the horn was too strong and the ensuing tip in off the miss was just late, securing the one-point victory for the Brewers.

Gustavus was led by Poppen’s 10 points, while Brody Ziegler (Sr., Mankato, Minn.) added nine, and Narum finished with eight. Sergio Najero (Sr., New Prague, Minn.) had a team-best seven rebounds for the Gusties, helping his squad win the rebounding battle 36-28. Gustavus also led Vassar in points in the paint 30-14, and in second chance points 13-7.

The Black and Gold return to action tomorrow afternoon when it takes on SUNY Oneonta at 2 p.m. CST in the first ever meeting between the two schools.


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