Bethel Runs Away In Second Half, Men’s Basketball Falls 93-82

Posted on January 11th, 2017 by

Austin Goetz drives on the perimeter against Bethel's Brycen Wojta. (photo by AJ Dahm, SPX Sports)

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ST. PETER, Minn. – Despite career scoring highs by two Gusties, the Gustavus men’s basketball team lost 93-82 to league-leading Bethel on Wednesday evening. The loss drops the Gusties to 3-10 overall and 3-5 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while the Royals improve to 11-2 overall and 7-1 in the league.

Peter Kruize scored a career-high 30 points. (AJ Dahm photo)

“They’re more athletic than we are and we had a hard time guarding them,” Head Coach Mark Hanson said. “They scored too quickly, too easily, and then in the second half we didn’t shoot it as well. But the reality of it all is that you can’t win games giving up 65 percent shooting.”

Bethel shot 38-for-58 (65.5%) from the field and was led by Trevor Hall and Bridgeport Tusler with 26 points apiece.

Peter Kruize (Sr., St. Peter, Minn.) and Riley Sharbono (So., Marshall, Minn.) both had career nights with 30 and 24 points, respectively. Kruize shot 12-of-18 from the field and made 6-of-7 free throws, while Sharbono shot 8-of-17 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe.

“Those two are both very good scorers,” Hanson said. “They’re confident in what they do offensively and that shows. I thought Pete played an outstanding first half, but didn’t shoot it as well in the second.”

Alec Koster spots up for a jumper. (AJ Dahm photo)

The first half proved to be an exciting back and forth battle. The Gusties jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the first three minutes before Bethel responded with an 8-2 run to gain an 11-10 advantage at the 15:03 mark. Gustavus regained the lead two possessions later and held on until the Royals took a 20-18 lead with 11:28 to play in the half. From that point on there were two ties and two lead changes, with Bethel taking the last lead change of the half. The visitors went on an 8-4 run to finish the first half and took a 45-44 lead into the locker room.

The Black and Gold was able to regain the lead early in the second half at 48-47, but the Royals answered with nine unanswered points and never looked back. Gustavus came within three points (73-70) at the 8:58 mark, but that would be the closest it would get in an 11-point loss.

Bethel outrebounded Gustavus 33-27 and forced 14 turnovers compared to committing 13. The Royals gained most of their points in the paint, outscoring the Gusties 63-40 and had 19 fast break points as well.

Gustavus now travels to Carleton for a 3 p.m. Saturday in Northfield, Minn.

“I hope people don’t look at their record,” Hanson said of Carleton. “They are an outstanding 1-5 team. They took Bethel and St. Thomas to overtime. They are very different in what we’ve seen in the last three or four games in that they are more of a classic post-perimeter team. It will be an interesting change of mentality for us.

 

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