Men’s Basketball Wins MIAC Opener 79-66 Over Macalester

Posted on November 23rd, 2019 by

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SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team opened its MIAC slate with a 79-66 victory over Macalester on Saturday afternoon, improving to 1-2 overall. The Scots fall to 3-3 overall.

The Gusties limited turnovers with a season-low eight and made 12 three-pointers. Logan Rezac (Jr., Andover) and Benji Lundberg (So., Ellendale) had the hot hands, scoring 24 and 23 points, respectively, while both shot over 50 percent. Lundberg also went 5-for-6 from beyond the arc and had a game-high seven assists.

“I thought we did a really good job on their two big men,” Head Coach Mark Hanson said. “What we needed to do most was not turn the ball over and we had half the turnovers we did the first two games. That’s significant. We didn’t shoot the ball all that well but you don’t have to shoot it as well when you get a shot most times down the floor.”

Macalester started the game with the lead and led by as much as six (11-5) with 12:43 remaining in the first half. The Gusties responded with nine unanswered points over the next three minutes to gain their first advantage of the afternoon. The Scots were able to bounce back and regain a 23-21 lead with 5:18 remaining in the half, before the home team went on a 16-6 run to close out the half and carry a 37-29 advantage into the locker room.

Gustavus carried its momentum into the second half with a 10-2 spree in the first three minutes, making 5-of-6 shots in that span. The Gusties led by as much as 19 (65-46) with 9:21 left in the game before the Scots made a strong comeback bid, going on a 15-1 run over the next five minutes to bring the deficit down to five. The Gusties found their rhythm again and were able to increase their lead back to double digits and closed out the game.

The home team shot 42.2 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Scots 34-30. The Gusties shot 12-of-31 from three-point range and 13-of-18 from the free throw line.

“I thought we rebounded alright, we only gave up a couple offensive boards,” Hanson said. “I thought we should have had a few more offensive rebounds of our own. Their defensive zone, not surprisingly, we weren’t real smooth against it. We knew they had one but they probably played more zone today than their first five games, which is because they had a hard time guarding us. I liked our attitude and energy. We certainly needed a win but mostly needed to fix a few things. We’ll see if they were fixed but I know they were improved.”

Gustavus next hosts Concordia at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.

 

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