Men’s Basketball Set for MIAC Quarterfinal with Bethel Tuesday

Posted on February 18th, 2019 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team will travel to Bethel on Tuesday night for an 8 p.m. MIAC Quarterfinal contest with the Royals. The Gusties enter the contest 11-14 overall and 8-12 in the MIAC while the Royals are 18-7 overall and 15-5 in the league.

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Gustavus Game Notes

The Series

Tuesday’s matchup marks the 91st all-time meeting between the two teams with the Gusties currently leading 59-31. The Royals, who defeated the Gustavus on Wednesday 84-81, have won the last six contests.

Gusties in the Playoffs

For the first time in since the 2014-15 season, the Gustavus men’s basketball team is back into the MIAC playoffs. During the 2015 playoffs, the Gusties defeated Saint John’s 64-54 in the quarterfinals before they fell to St. Thomas 83-79 in the semifinals. Since the inaugural year of the MIAC Playoffs in the 1984-85 season, Gustavus has now made 24 appearances in the playoff field where they hold an all-time record of 32-15, which has led to nine MIAC Playoff titles. Since the Gusties last won a MIAC Playoff Championship in 2004-05, Gustavus is 0-4 in MIAC Championship games. In quarterfinal match ups, Gustavus is a perfect 6-0 in the 33-year history of the MIAC postseason. The Gusties and Royals have met seven times in postseason history with Gustavus holding a 5-2 advantage. The last time the two teams met in the playoffs was Feb. 21, 2006 with the Gusties taking home a 73-49 victory at Gus Young Court.

Scouting the Gusties

Gustavus enters the contest most recently defeating Concordia 81-68 on Saturday. Through 25 games, the Gusties currently rank fifth in the MIAC in points per game (72.5) and ninth in points against (76.7). Gustavus has also shot the ball well with the third best field goal percentage in the league (47.0) and fifth best three-point percentage (36.4). Riley Sharbono, the teams leading scorer with 13.1 points per game, has scored 20 points in back-to-back games, notching 22 against Bethel on Wednesday, and 20 against the Cobbers on Saturday while shooting 18-of-29 (62.1 percent) in the process. Nolan Malo, the teams second leading scorer averages 9.8 points, to go along with a team leading 5.2 rebounds.

Scouting the Royals

Bethel comes into the contest most recently defeating Hamline 89-63 on Saturday. The Royals have been one of the top offensive teams in the MIAC this season, averaging the fourth most points per game (76.9), fourth best field goal percentage (46.7), and third best three-point percentage (39.2). All five Royal starters play a key role in those numbers with Granger Kingland, Derek Magnuson, Jack Jenson, and Matt Ambriz all averaging double figures, while Tyler Barker quarterbacks the offense with a MIAC-best 5.4 assists per game. Kingland and Magnuson, the teams top two scorers, are fifth and sixth respectively in the league with 8.0 and 7.6 rebounds per game.

Last Time They Met

The Gustavus men’s basketball team played host to Bethel for Senior Night Wednesday and lost 84-81. With the loss the Gusties fall to 10-14 overall and 7-12 in league play.

In the contest the Gusties got out to a hot start as Isaac Douglas (So., Montevideo, Minn.) poured in eight points in the first four minutes to propel them to a 12-5 lead. The two teams continued to battle throughout the half with a Riley Sharbono (Sr., Marshall, Minn.) three-pointer with 8:32 left in the half giving Gustavus their biggest lead of the game at 31-20. The Royals fought back though and were able to close out the half on an 18-9 run to head into the break trailing the Gusties by just two.

In the first half the Gusties were 18-of-35 from the field for a percentage of 51.4 percent while the Royals were 17-for-32 for a 53.1 percent clip.

In half number two the Gusties were able to maintain their lead a majority of the half with Sharbono catching fire and pouring in 15 second half points. Gustavus clung to a five-point lead with 3:32 to play where the Royals drew up a play that got them a backdoor for a dunk that swung the momentum their way. Trailing by three with under three minutes to play, Bethel was able to come away with two points on their next four possessions to take a five-point lead. Gustavus got a layup to pull it within three and pulled it within one on their next possession but Bethel was able to evade getting fouled until their was two seconds left on the clock. The Royals knocked down both free throws, and the Gusties were unable to get a shot on their last possession.

In the contest, Sharbono led all scorers with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting, to go along with three rebounds. Douglas finished with 14 while Marten Morem (Fy., Caledonia, Minn.) was the other Gustie in double figures with 10.

 

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