Men’s Basketball Suffers Hard Fought 65-60 Defeat To St. Olaf Despite Second Half Comeback

Posted on January 11th, 2016 by

Brian Jacobs scored a team-high 11 points for the Gusties in the loss to St. Olaf. (photo by Jessica Williams, Gustavus Sports Information)

Box Score: Gustavus 60, St. Olaf 65 | Photo Gallery

ST. PETER, Minn. – Despite a second half comeback, the Gustavus men’s basketball team suffered a hard fought 65-60 loss to St. Olaf on Monday night at Gus Young Court. The defeat drops the Gusties to 5-8 overall and 2-6 in the MIAC, while the Oles improve to 8-5 overall, and 6-2 in the league.

“We played 30 minutes of good basketball, unfortunately it’s a 40 minute game” said Head Coach Mark Hanson. “We played the way we needed to play in the first 10 minutes of the second half as we came out very strong. I thought the entire second half we were capable of coming back, and had several looks to get ahead.  I am proud of what a lot of players did during the comeback, but we need to bottle that up and play for an entire 40 minutes next time.”

Riley Sharbono scored 11 points in the loss to St. Olaf. (photo by Jessica Williams)

Riley Sharbono scored 11 points in the loss to St. Olaf. (photo by Jessica Williams)

Despite a slow start and trailing 10-0 before three minutes ran off the clock to begin the game, the Gusties fought back from a 16-point deficit at the 12:35 mark, to a 44-33 score at halftime with five points to end the half from Riley Sharbono (Fy., Marshall, Minn.). 

With a strong start to the second frame, the Gusties were able to narrow the Oles lead to as little as one point in the opening seven minutes of the half, coming off 10 unanswered points with help from senior Brian Jacobs (Lake Crystal, Minn.) who sunk a three-pointer, followed by a a pair of layups. Jacobs reached double-digit scoring with 11 points in the game, and added three rebounds.

The Gusties went back and forth for the remainder of the half, until the 4:44 mark when Gustavus took its first lead of the game at 55-54 with a jumper by Peter Kruize (Jr., St. Peter, Minn.) followed by a free throw. However, the Oles responded with five unanswered points to put them ahead 59-55 with three minutes remaining in the game.

The Gusties continued to battle in the final seconds of the game, with a three-pointer by Chad Poppen (Sr., St. Peter, Minn.) at the 17-second mark, closing the Oles lead to 63-60. Seconds later, the Oles’ Justin Pahl finished a layup with 13 seconds left in the game, leaving the Gusties with not enough time on the clock to complete their comeback.

The Oles were led by Ben Figini with 24 points, and teammate Justin Pahl who was good for 14.

The Gusties shot 45 percent, compared to the Oles 43.1 percent, and out-rebounded the Oles 30-27. For the second time this season, the Gusties finished with double digit steals with 11. Gustavus also found quality production from the bench, outscoring St. Olaf’s reserves 39-12. Along with Jacobs’ 11 points off the bench, Sharbono also scored 11 off the bench. 

The Black and Gold return to MIAC action on Saturday when it takes on Carelton College at 1 p.m. in Northfield, Minn.



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