Sharbono Buzzer-Beater Gives Gusties 69-67 Victory At Concordia

Posted on February 5th, 2018 by


MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball secured a 69-67 win at Concordia College Monday evening on a last second shot from Riley Sharbono (Jr., Marshall, Minn.), snapping a four-game losing skid during the final regular season road contest.

Gustavus (11-11, 9-8 MIAC) outscored the Cobbers (5-16, 3-13 MIAC) 31-29 in the second half, guided by a 20-6 run through the opening eight minutes after the score was tied at halftime.

“I was pleased with the majority of our effort, we didn’t play with the same intent in the first half than we did in the second,” said Head Coach Mark Hanson. “I think that showed up in their shooting percentage, that being said they knocked down some pretty tough threes. Our offense was overall fairly productive throughout but we had some gaps in which we didn’t produce.”

The first half featured a three-point parade with a combined 23 three-points field goals from both teams. The Gusties went 5-9 from beyond the arc while the Cobbers went 8-14. The home team held a slight advantage throughout the majority of the half until back-to-back three-pointers gave Gustavus a 31-29 lead with 2:50 remaining. Concordia then closed out the half on a 9-7 run to put the score at 38-38 heading into the intermission.

Kelsey Thomas (Sr., Wiesbaden, Germany) paced the Gustavus offense in the first 20 minutes with 15 points off 6-10 shooting, including a 3-5 mark from long-range.

The Cobbers’ shooting cooled off in the opening minutes of the second half as the Black and Gold played strong defense and shot 8-12 from the field, gaining a 56-44 lead finished off by a fast-break dunk from Thomas to force a Concordia timeout at the 13:17 minute mark.

Down by nine points with three and a half minutes remaining, a Gustavus technical sparked some momentum for the Cobbers as they made both free throws and converted three-straight field goals to claim a 67-66 lead with just over a minute left on the game clock. Thomas went 1-2 at the line to tie the game at 67-67 and then had a role in the final play of the game, teaming up with Sharbono on a give-and-go for the game-winning shot. Thomas gave the inbound pass back to Sharbono as he nailed the jumper to seal the 69-67 victory and series sweep over Concordia.

“It was certainly an uplifting feeling seeing that shot go in and sort of finally getting something for our efforts,” Hanson said.

Thomas led the Gusties with a season-high 25 points, shooting 10-16 from the field. Sharbono followed with 14 points while Jason Faul (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.) added 12 and a team-high six rebounds.

The Black and Gold shot 45.6 percent from the field (26-57), 47.1 percent from three-point range (8-17) and 81.8 percent from the free throw line (9-11). Concordia out-rebounded Gustavus 30-29 while the Gusties forced 16 Cobber turnovers, while committing 13. 

“With the exception of the turnovers, he had an outstanding stat line and when he is playing with that kind of aggressiveness and emotion, I think the rest of our guys play off that well,” Hanson commented on the Kelsey Thomas performance.

Gustavus returns to Gus Young Court for its final three games of the regular season, next hosting Macalester College Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.


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