Second Half Comeback Falls Short, Men’s Hoops Drops Opener to UW-River Falls

Posted on November 11th, 2022 by

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY 

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team turned a 16-point second half deficit into two points late in the game Friday night but couldn’t complete the comeback in a 62-58 loss to UW-River Falls in the season opener.

It took over two minutes for the game’s first points as each team struggled to find a rhythm early in the first half. Spencer Swanson (So., Waconia) scored the Gusties’ first eight points and the home team extended its lead to 15-7 at the 12:22 mark, but the Falcons answered with 10 consecutive points to gain a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game. The Falcons outscored the Gusties 28-8 in the final 12 minutes of the half for a 35-23 lead at halftime.

UW-River Falls extended its lead to as much as 16 points at 47-31 with 12:19 left in the game before the Gusties started their comeback effort. Gustavus went on a 16-2 run over the next five minutes, cutting the lead to 49-47 with 6:53 left on the clock. The remainder of the game was a back-and-forth affair with the Falcons going back up by as much as six points before the Gusties made it a two-point game on a three-pointer by Evan Wieker (Jr., St. Michael) with 15 seconds left, making the score 60-58. The Falcons drew a foul on the ensuing possession and two made free throws put the finishing touches on the game.

“The thing that stands out to me the most from this game was our guys’ resolve and resiliency,” Head Coach Justin DeGrood said. “We clearly didn’t shoot the ball well and that was tough to see, especially because we generated a lot of quality looks. But there were many times that they could have let things get away. Our guys battled one possession at a time and gave us a chance at the end. Credit to River Falls on the win but I think there is a ton for us to build on.”

Swanson led the Gusties with 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting, including 7-of-10 free throws. Swanson added a team-high 10 rebounds for a double-double and made four blocks as well. Jordan Schommer (Sr., Merrifield) added 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Adam Biewen (Jr., Golden Valley) contributed nine points and seven rebounds.

The Gusties shot 33.9 percent from the field and went 12-of-15 from the free throw line. The Falcons shot 40.7 percent. The Gusties won the rebound battle 36-30.

Gustavus hits the road next Tuesday night for a non-conference game at Crown College.

 

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