Men’s Basketball Goes Down To The Wire With Augsburg, Comes Out On Top 78-75

Posted on January 4th, 2017 by

The Gusties celebrate a blocked shot to seal the win over Augsburg. (photos by Roisen Granlund '17, Gustavus Sports Information)

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

ST. PETER, Minn. – Wednesday’s men’s basketball game at Gus Young Court certainly didn’t disappoint the fans in a true wire-to-wire contest where Gustavus came out on top of Augsburg 78-75. The Auggies got off a three-pointer in the final seconds, but a block by Jason Faul (Jr., Prior Lake, Minn.) sealed the victory as the Gusties snapped a six-game losing streak, improving to 3-3 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and 3-8 overall.

The contest also marked the 400th men’s basketball game played at Gus Young Court and 300th all-time win in Lund Center for the Gustavus men’s basketball team. The Gustie men are now 300-100 at Gus Young Court since its opening in 1984.

“That was just a fun game,” Head Coach Mark Hanson said. “I said at halftime to [assistant coach] Justin [DeGrood] that the fans have to be enjoying the game. I think it was played at a pretty high level, there was good scoring in spite of good defense, so I hope we grew up a little bit.”

Riley Sharbono had a career-high 23 points against the Auggies.

Riley Sharbono (So., Marshall, Minn.) led the Gusties with a career-high 23 points and six rebounds. The sophomore wing went 8-of-13 from the floor, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. Ben Lies (Sr., Hutchinson, Minn.) also had a career night with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while Faul and Spencer Tollefson (So., New Richland, Minn.) added 10 points apiece.

“Riley has a good knack for scoring and I think we got really good distribution of points,” Hanson said. “It was good for Alec Koster (Sr., Redwood Falls, Minn.) to knock down a couple shots in key moments and Jason Faul had some nice moves down the stretch, so I think everyone played a good role in the win.”

Both teams traded points to start the game, but a 16-4 run by the Gusties from the 12:24-7:02 mark gave the home squad its largest lead of the game at 30-22. The Auggies had an answer, though, ending the half with a 9-2 run and went into the locker room trailing 41-40.

Augsburg rolled its momentum into the second half and gained its largest lead of the game, 54-47, at the 14:25 mark. The Gusties slowly chipped away at the lead and were able to tie the game 63-63 with 8:17 left. In the final 7:10 there were five lead changes and two ties. The final lead change occurred with 1:32 remaining as Faul made a nice move in the lane for a layup, giving the Gusties a 76-75 advantage. A missed three-pointer by the Auggies gave the Gusties the ball back and a foul sent Peter Kruize (Sr., St. Peter, Minn.) to the line for a one-and-one bonus. Kruize came up big and made both shots for the three-point lead. The last second shot by the Auggies was no good and the Black and Gold escaped with the win.

“Augsburg made a lot of tough shots and they’re a good offensive team,” Hanson said. “Collin Olmscheid is one of the better players in the league, if not the country, so in spite of the fact that they shot 54 percent I thought that we defended them pretty well and hard.”

Both teams shot 54 percent from the floor. Augsburg won the rebounding battle 29-24, but committed more turnovers, 11-9.

Gustavus continues its home stand at 3 p.m. Saturday as it hosts Saint John’s (7-3, 3-2 MIAC).

“We certainly needed a good feeling and I think we got a little of that tonight,” Hanson said. “Saint John’s is one of the better teams in the conference, so we’ll have to be out here defending our home court again.”

 

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