Strong First Half Leads Men’s Basketball To Victory Over Saint Mary’s

Posted on November 29th, 2017 by

Jason Faul (Photo: Matt Berkner, Gustavus Sports Information)

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ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team’s 52.9 percent field goal percentage and 53-28 first half propelled it to a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opening victory over Saint Mary’s University Wednesday evening, winning 85-65 at Gus Young Court.

The Gusties, 3-2 overall (1-0 MIAC), shot 30-for-62 from the field and out-rebounded the Cardinals by a mark of 48-25 in their highest offensive output of the season in the 20-point victory.

“The last two games, we have moved the ball better,” said Head Coach Mark Hanson. “We have tried not to be concerned about making the scoring pass or creating a scoring opportunity, rather just letting the offense create the opportunity. We generally shoot better when we do that, and create better shots. Offensively, it was just about playing together.”

Forcing 18 Saint Mary’s turnovers, the Gusties capitalized with 23 points off those Cardinal mishaps, while outscoring the visitors 44-20 in the paint.

After the Cardinals owned a 9-7 lead just over three minutes into the game, Gustavus gained the lead and held on for the rest of the game. A free throw from Jason Faul (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.) pushed the Gustie lead to 43-15 with 6:30 left in the first half – the largest lead of the night. In the second half, the home team maintained at least a 17-point lead throughout.

Four out of five Black and Gold starters scored in double figures, with Jason Faul leading the way with a career-high 21 points, shooting 8-12 from the field. Riley Sharbono (Jr., Marshall, Minn.) added 18, Kelsey Thomas (Sr., Wiesbaden, Germany) led the team with nine rebounds, and CJ Woda (Fy., Maple Grove, Minn.) tallied a career-high 11 points.

“He didn’t have the advantage of playing as a freshman, or really as a sophomore,” Hanson spoke of Faul. “He’s getting an understanding of what he can do and the game has slowed down for him.”

Gustavus returns to Gus Young Court for another conference matchup Saturday, hosting St. Olaf College at 1 p.m.

 

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