Swanson and Wieker Lead Men’s Hoops Over St. Olaf

Posted on December 7th, 2022 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. – Spencer Swanson (So., Waconia) and Evan Wieker (Jr., St. Michael) accounted for 61 points Wednesday night as the Gustavus men’s basketball team defeated St. Olaf 94-87. Swanson tallied 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting, including a game-high 12 rebounds, while Wieker shot 10-for-13 for 30 points, marking the first time in recorded team history that two players scored at least 30 points each in the same game.

“I’m happy we had a couple guys fill it up tonight but it should not go unnoticed how terrific our passing, spacing and pace was by everyone,” Head Coach Justin DeGrood said. “Those things create opportunities for Gustavus and I’m really proud of the entire group for finding hot hands and playing selfless basketball.”

The first half featured eight lead changes and eight ties with both teams posting high shooting percentages. The Gusties shot 61.3 percent while the Oles converted at 54.5 percent in the first 20 minutes. In a back-and-forth battle, the score differential never moved past five points for either team. Swanson tied the game at 34-34 with 4:13 left in the first with a turnaround jumper followed by a steal and fast break layup by Jordan Schommer (Sr., Merrifield) for the lead change. The score went between a two-point Gustie lead to a tie game three more times to end the half 42-40 in favor of Gustavus.

The Gusties increased their lead to six points twice early in the second half before the Oles came back with an 11-2 run, gaining a 53-50 advantage with 13:40 on the clock. St. Olaf continued to hold the lead for the better part of the next seven minutes until Swanson made a layup at the 6:08 mark, stole the in-bound pass, missed the first layup, grabbed his own rebound, and made the second layup to tie the game at 74-74. Wieker then converted an and-one three-point play at the 4:34 mark, taking a 77-76 lead. The Oles regained the advantage one more time on the ensuing possession, but the Gusties answered with a pair of free throws by Schommer, taking the lead for good. Gustavus increased its lead to as much as 10 points in the final seconds to secure the victory.

“What a battle that was,” DeGrood said. “Credit to St. Olaf as that was a terrific game played by both teams. Efficiency was on full display for the fans in a classic back and forth game. It’s easy to have watched or look at stats and be pleased with the offensive production, which I am. However, as I told the guys in the locker room, what I’m most proud of was our defense in the final five minutes of the game. It was in those moments where we were at our best on both ends and we are fortunate to have our guys’ effort and grit.”

Gustavus shot 59 percent from the floor, including 43.8 percent (7-16) from three-point range, while the Oles shot 55.4 percent. The Gusties out-rebounded the visitors 30-24 and out-scored the Oles 54-42 in the paint.

Gustavus next hosts Augsburg at 1 p.m. Saturday.


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