Men’s Basketball Defensive Effort Leads To 68-55 Win Over Saint Mary’s

Posted on January 28th, 2017 by

Jason Faul looks for an open lane against Saint Mary's. (photos by Roisen Granlund '17, Gustavus Sports Information)

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ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team Saturday allowed a season-low 55 points to Saint Mary’s and was able to close out the game with strong defensive play for a 68-55 victory. The league win moves the Gusties to 4-14 overall and 4-9 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while the Cardinals fall to 5-12 overall and 3-10 in the conference. The victory also keeps an impressive win streak intact as Gustavus owns a 33-0 all-time record against the Cardinals at Gus Young Court, dating back to 1984 when Lund Center opened.

“I like the outcome,” Head Coach Mark Hanson said. “I think we weren’t as fluid as I’d like to see, so we’ll continue to work on that, but even with that we created some good shots. To have nine turnovers, we’d probably have a few more wins with just nine turnovers.”

Kelsey Thomas goes up for a layup.

Gustavus shot a season-high 55.8 percent from the field (29-52) and held Saint Mary’s to 41.3 percent. The Gusties out-rebounded the Cardinals 36-26, including 13 offensive boards. The home team also controlled play down low, outscoring the Cardinals in the paint 44-22.

“We kept them to 39 percent shooting in the second half and that was certainly key,” Hanson said. “We probably put them at the free throw line too much, but I thought we played some solid defense.”

Riley Sharbono (So., Marshall, Minn.) led the Gusties with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Kelsey Thomas (Jr., Wiesbaden, Germany) and Jason Faul (Jr., Prior Lake, Minn.) also reached double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Faul was one rebound shy of a double-double as he hauled in nine boards.

After going back and forth in the first four minutes, Gustavus went on a 9-2 run to take a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the game. Saint Mary’s cut the deficit to one point on three occasions in the first half, but the Gusties outscored the visitors 6-2 in the final two minutes of the half and carried a 33-28 advantage into the locker room.

The two teams traded buckets for a majority of the second frame, but the Gusties were able score six unanswered points late in the half and led 61-51 with 4:48 remaining to force a Saint Mary’s timeout. After the break, the Cardinals cut the lead back to single digits but the Black and Gold closed out the game on a 7-2 run for the 13-point decision.

Gustavus has a quick turnaround as it travels to Augsburg for a 7 p.m. tipoff Monday. The Gusties won the first game of the series 78-75 on Jan. 4.

“They have one of the purist shooters in the conference in Collin Olmscheid and they have a quick perimeter game, which puts us in a tough spot because we don’t guard the dribbler all that well,” Hanson said. “It will be a difficult game as the last one was and I don’t see any easy games the rest of the way.”

 

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