Men’s Basketball Drops Another Heartbreaker 82-80 At St. Olaf

Posted on February 10th, 2016 by

Brody Ziegler led the Gusties with 17 points and five rebounds.

Brody Ziegler led the Gusties with 17 points.


NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Trailing St. Olaf by two points with six seconds remaining in the game, the Gustavus men’s basketball team had possession of the ball as Gary Cooper (Sr., Detroit, Mich.) advanced it up to Chris Narum (Sr., Eagan, Minn.). Narum pump-faked and dribbled over for an open look at a three-pointer, but his shot at the last second was blocked in a controversial finish, as some argue a foul was committed on the shot. Nonetheless, the Gusties lost 82-80 in another heartbreaking defeat, dropping to 9-13 overall and 6-11 in the MIAC, and have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Four Gusties reached double figures, led by Brody Ziegler (Sr., Mankato, Minn.) with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. Cooper and Riley Sharbono (Fy., Marshall, Minn.) each had 16 points, while Sergio Najera (Sr., New Prague, Minn.) posted a season-high 13 points. Ziegler and Najera led the team with five rebounds apiece, and Cooper posted five assists.

The Gusties and Oles traded baskets for the first 5:34 of the game with three ties during that span, until the home squad scored eight unanswered points for an 18-10 lead at the 12:09 mark. Gustavus responded with six straight points to bring the score within two, but St. Olaf once again went on a spree, 12-4, to take a 30-20 advantage with 6:41 left in the half. The Black and Gold brought the score back within one possession at 35-32 with 3:29 on the clock, but the Oles padded their lead and went into halftime with a 44-37 advantage.

The second half started similar to the first with both teams going back and forth. The Oles led by as much as nine and as few as two during the first 15 minutes of the half. The Gusties finally were able to tie the game at 70-70 on a layup by Ziegler with 4:44 remaining. The rest of the contest featured four ties and two lead changes, but the Oles were on the right side of the final lead change. St. Olaf made a layup at the 1:45 mark to take an 80-78 lead, and Najera answered for the Gusties to tie the game at 80 on a jumper with 35 seconds left. But once again the Oles responded with a layup with just six seconds to take the final lead of the game.

Gustavus shot 53.8 percent (35-65) from the field, while St. Olaf shot 61.1 percent (33-54). The Gusties out-rebounded the Oles 31-26 and committed just eight turnovers.

Gustavus wraps up the season with three home games, starting at 1 p.m. Saturday against Hamline.


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