Men’s Basketball Drops Season Opener 81-60 At Buena Vista Posted on November 18th, 2016 by


STORM LAKE, Iowa – The Gustavus men’s basketball team opened its season Friday with an 81-60 non-conference loss at Buena Vista University. The Gusties kept the score close for most of the second half, but an 11-point run by the Beavers in the final three minutes sealed the victory for the home team.

“I think hidden in a number of disappointing things were some encouraging things,” Head Coach Mark Hanson said. “We had five guys out of the 13 we played that were playing in their first college game for Gustavus. We played with anxiousness and a lack of maturity. I don’t say that we were immature, but we haven’t matured as a team and become comfortable in the game. We got down and let that get to us a bit and didn’t run our offense as effectively as we needed to.”

The two teams traded buckets early in the game and a jumper by Riley Sharbono (So., Marshall, Minn.) gave the Gusties at 4-3 lead 1:30 into the contest, but that would be their last lead of the night. The Beavers jumped out to a 20-10 advantage over the next five minutes and controlled the pace of play for a majority of the half. Their largest lead was 18 points midway the half at 37-19. The Gusties got the opening-night nerves settled down, though, and finished the first half strong. Hanson’s squad scored seven unanswered points after the 18-point Beaver lead and finished the half trailing by 10 points at 44-34.

“From the eight-to-ten-minute mark in the first half, I think we played pretty well on both ends, unfortunately they played well, too,” Hanson said.

Buena Vista maintained a comfortable lead to start the second half and led by as much as 13 points at the 13:41 mark. That’s when the Gusties found a rhythm and scored eight unanswered points to come within five points at 55-50. The run was highlighted by consecutive threes by AJ Hatchett (Jr., Powder Springs, Ga.) and Sharbono. But the home team responded with seven unanswered to regain a 12-point advantage. The Black and Gold fought back to within eight points at 68-60 with five minutes to play, but the Beavers went on a 13-0 run to finish the game.

“It got away at the end in the last two minutes, but we did some good things,” Hanson said. “We missed some bunnies that could’ve changed the game in the six-to-eight-minute mark in the second half and it just got away at the end.”

Gustavus was limited to a 31.4 shooting percentage from the floor, while Buena Vista shot 56.1 percent. Alec Koster (Sr., Redwood Falls, Minn.) led the Gusties with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting along with six rebounds, while Sharbono added 11 points. Kelsey Thomas (Jr., Wiesbaden, Germany) hauled in seven rebounds to lead the team.

Gustavus has a week off and then returns to the hardwood on Nov. 26 at Simpson College.


Comments are closed.