Men’s Basketball Ends Season with 87-69 Loss to No. 5 St. Thomas

Posted on March 7th, 2021 by

Benji Lundberg spots up for a jumper against St. Thomas. (photo courtesy of David Faulkner, SPX Sports)

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SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team closed out its season Sunday afternoon with an 87-69 loss to fifth-ranked St. Thomas. The game marked the 197th and final meeting between the Gusties and Tommies in a storied rivalry dating back to 1928. St. Thomas today played its final game in NCAA Division III before making the jump to Division I next season.

“I think this rivalry is more about some fascinating games through that history,” Head Coach Mark Hanson said. “I’ve been fortunate to be a part of that history for a long time. But there’s over 50 years of history before me and now those are names in record books and people who are in the Hall of Fame so it’s sad to see this end.”

The first eight minutes of Sunday’s game was a back-and-forth affair with four lead changes. Isaac Douglas (Sr., Montevideo) sunk a three at the 11:42 mark to cut the Tommie lead to 20-17 before the visitors went on a 15-3 run over the next four minutes. Turnovers plagued the Gusties in the first 20 minutes as they gave the ball away 10 times, resulting in a 43-33 Tommie lead at halftime.

The Gusties were able to cut the lead to nine at the 17:47 mark of the second half, but St. Thomas responded with nine unanswered points and were in control of the game for the rest of the half.

Gustavus shot 41.1 percent from the floor and made of 13-of-31 three-pointers. The Tommies shot 47.8 percent. The Tommies also out-rebounded the Gusties 35-31. The Gusties finished with 14 turnovers compared to seven by the Tommies.

Kaleb Feahn (Sr., Waseca) led the offense with 18 points along with six rebounds. Nolan Malo (Jr., Owatonna) recorded a double-double with 10 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Malo also had three assists and three blocks. Logan Rezac (Sr., Andover) had 13 points and Benji Lundberg (Jr., Ellendale) chipped in 12 points.

“As sad as it is to see those two seniors go, we played two freshmen more than we might have anticipated because of injuries and so forth,” Hanson said. “I thought both Evan [Wieker] (Fy., St. Michael) and Adam [Biewen] (Fy., Golden Valley) really showed that they belong. This year of experience for them is fabulous. It’s maybe different if Seth Coatta (Jr., Chanhassen) hadn’t tore his ACL and Jake Guse (Jr., Waseca) had been back. If it had been a normal year they may not have gotten that same experience.”

Gustavus finishes the truncated 2021 season 3-4 overall and 3-3 in the MIAC.

 

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