Men’s Basketball Wins Third Straight, Defeats Bethel 82-75

Posted on January 27th, 2016 by

Gary Cooper tallied 17 points in the win against Bethel. (photo by Roisen Granlund, Gustavus Sports Information)

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ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus College men’s basketball team won its third straight game against Bethel University in a nail biter on Wednesday evening at Gus Young Court. The win pushes the Gusties to 8-10 overall, and 5-8 in the MIAC, while the Royals drop to 12-5 overall, and 7-5 in the league.

“There were a couple times that we allowed some runs where an eight or nine point lead turned to even, but I give our guys a lot of credit for coming back and regaining the lead” said Head Coach Mark Hanson. “I think that shows good mentality by our guys. We turned it over too much, and that certainly hurt, but we made up for that with some good three-point shooting. We were decent from the free throw line and we made some important stops at the end.”

Gustavus came out to a quick start, taking its first lead of the game 3-2 at the 19:04 mark after a three-pointer by Brian Jacobs (Sr., Lake Crystal, Minn.). Only a minute later, Jacobs sunk another three to put the Gusties up by four.  From that point forward, the Gusties never trailed the Royals throughout the remainder of the first half, despite being tied four times. The Gusties took their largest lead of the half at the 6:23 mark on a layup from Chris Narum (Sr., Eagan, Minn.), to put the Gusties up 32-23. However, the Royals continued to slowly battle their way back into the game and were able to tie the game 39-39 with just over a minute to play. For the remainder of the half, both teams went back and forth to go into halftime 41-41.

AJ Hatchett drive the lane against Bethel. (photo by Jessica Williams, Gustavus Sports Information)

AJ Hatchett drives the lane against Bethel. (photo by Jessica Williams, Gustavus Sports Information)

In the second half, Bethel came out on fire, taking its first lead since the beginning minutes of the game, coming out with four unanswered points to take a 47-43 advantage.  Soon thereafter, the Black and Gold responded with two important three-pointers, the first by Gary Cooper (Sr., Detroit, Mich.) at the 18:25 mark, and the second just a minute later by Jacobs at the 17:34 mark to regain a 49-47 lead. Gustavus continued to hold the lead until the Royals’ Bridgeport Tusler finished three field goals in a row, and was able to steal the lead 68-67 with 6:57 remaining in the contest.

The game came down to the wire, with the score being within six points for the final four minutes of play. At the 5:06 mark, Cooper’s shot from the paint was blocked, Narum pulled down an offensive rebound and with one second remaining on the shot clock, found Brody Ziegler (Sr., Mankato, Minn.) under the hoop for an easy layup to take the lead 73-71 and never looked back. Ultimately, the game came down to five crucial Gustie free throws in the final 30 seconds of the contest to help them earn a third straight victory 82-75.

The Gusties were led for the second game in a row by Jacobs who finished 20 points, going 7-for-10 from the field and shot an impressive 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Cooper followed closely with 17 points and three assists. Peter Kruize (Jr., St. Peter, Minn.) chipped in 15 points and had a team-high nine rebounds.

Gustavus shot 49.1 percent, while the Royals shot 43.8 percent. The Gusties proved to shoot well from beyond the arc as well, going 9-for-13 compared to only 7-for-19 for their opponent. The Black and Gold pulled down 38 rebounds and tallied 15 assists in the contest.

The Royals were led by Bridgeport Tusler who scored 23 points, followed by teammate Trevor Hall who finished with 14.

The Gusties will return to action on Saturday as they host Macalaster College at 1 p.m.

 

 

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