Men’s Hoops Snaps Seven-Game Losing Skid Versus St. Thomas, Securing 69-68 Victory Posted on January 24th, 2018 by

Kelsey Thomas (Photo courtesy of Kegan Couture, Gustavus Sports Information)


ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team held on for a slim victory during a back-and-forth battle with the University of St. Thomas Wednesday evening at Gus Young Court, ending a seven-game losing streak versus the Tommies with a 69-68 win.

The Gusties improve to 10-7 overall and 8-4 during Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play, while the Tommies drop to 9-8 overall and 7-5 within the MIAC.

“I really don’t know that we brought anything from that game, I think it’s a continuation of working on the things that we have been working on to become better,” Head Coach Mark Hanson commented on the team’s response to the previous loss versus St. Thomas. “You have to do things right on both ends of the floor. We had clearly turned it over too much in previous games, so that has been a point of emphasis, along with moving our offense to create good shots.”

St. Thomas opened the game on a 15-7 run, sinking 3-of-4 field goals from long range to force a Gustavus timeout six and a half minutes into the game. The timeout was a turning point in the game, as the Gusties climbed back into the game and came within one, trailing 17-16 near the midway point of the half.

Gustavus tied the game at 32-32 with just over two minutes remaining off a Vannis Smith (So., Crystal Lake, Ill.) jumper. Smith was 4-6 from the field and 2-3 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes, while the Tommies took a 36-33 lead into the intermission.

The second half saw several lead changes, with the home team claiming its first lead of the game from a Kelsey Thomas (Sr., Wiesbaden, Germany) layup, giving the Black and Gold a two-point lead prior to sinking the and-one opportunity at the line to give Gustavus a 41-38 lead at the 16:53 minute mark.

Back-to-back jumpers from Peter Lundquist (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) gave the Gusties a 53-49 lead, in which the Tommies answered with three consecutive three-pointers to take a four-point lead of their own, leading 58-54. Gustavus countered with two-straight layups from Jason Faul (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.) to knot the game at 58-58 with just over seven minutes on the game clock.

The Gusties twice gained four-point leads, last with two and a half minutes left. However, the Tommies continued to answer, coming within one point twice, but came up short on a last second shot opportunity.

Gustavus shot 57.1 percent from the field, going 28-49 and 6-15 from three-point range, including a season-best 64 percent (16-25) in the second half. St. Thomas shot 45.5 percent (25-55) and out-rebounded the Gusties 32-25.

A collective effort paced the Gustavus offense, with Smith leading the way with 13 points. Lundquist followed with a career-high 10 points off of 4-4 shooting. Thomas added nine, while Faul and Brandon Snoberger (Jr., Rice, Minn.) each tallied eight points. Faul and Thomas tied for the team-lead with five rebounds each.

“Obviously they have great shooters, so our mindset was to help down inside and close out on shooters,” said Lundquist. “We have a lot of confidence going forward.”

Next up, the Gusties head to Northfield, Minn. Saturday afternoon to take on St. Olaf College. Gustavus previously took down the Oles at Gus Young Court with a 67-62 on Dec. 2.


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