Men’s Basketball Loses 76-67 To North Central

Posted on December 13th, 2016 by

Kelsey Thomas races the ball up the court. (photo by Roisen Granlund '17, Gustavus Sports Information)

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ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team dropped a 76-67 decision to North Central University in non-conference action Tuesday. The loss moves the Gusties to 2-5 overall, while the Rams improve to 3-5 after the first ever meeting between the two programs.

“We saw what we expected out of North Central tonight and didn’t do enough to stop them,” Head Coach Mark Hanson said.

After a hot start in the first two minutes with an 8-0 lead, the Gusties slowly saw their advantage slip away as the Rams went on a 14-6 run to tie the game at the 12:33 mark. The two squads went back and forth over the next four minutes until five unanswered points by the Gusties gave the home team a 28-23 lead with 6:17 left in the half. The Rams finished the first half with the hot hand, though, as they went on a 14-4 run and held a 37-32 advantage at the break.

Riley Sharbono scored a career-high 22 points. (by Roisen Granlund)

Riley Sharbono (So., Marshall, Minn.) provided the bulk of the offense for Gustavus with 17 points in the first 20 minutes on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-4 from three-point range.

The second half was a similar story for the Rams as they were able to maintain the advantage and didn’t let the Gusties come any closer than five points of the lead. Their largest lead of the game was 16 points (64-48) at the 7:08 mark.

Sharbono finished with a career-high 22 points, shooting 8-of-13 from the floor and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.

“I don’t think that’s the last time we’ll something like that out him,” Hanson said of Sharbono. “He has that ability and he’s just a really good shooter and has a knack for offense. I think that’s something we’ll see relatively often.”

Peter Kruize (Sr., St. Peter, Minn.) was next in line with 12 points and added five rebounds. Alec Koster (Sr., Redwood Falls, Minn.) posted a career-high 10 assists, marking the first time a Gustie dished out 10 helpers since Martin Feddersen had 11 against Buena Vista on Nov. 16, 2013.

Gustavus now has a two-week break for the holidays before travelling to Las Vegas, Nev. for a pair of games against UW-Eau Claire and Ramapo on Dec. 28 and 29.

“We play back-to-back games against two very good teams,” Hanson said. “It’ll hopefully be a little bit of a warm weather experience and there’s something about getting away that hopefully brings some focus to what we’re doing.”

 

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