Men’s Basketball Comes Up Short Against Bethany Lutheran

Posted on December 14th, 2022 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. – In a fast paced and tightly contested game throughout, the Gustavus men’s basketball team fell just short to Bethany Lutheran, 96-88, in non-conference action Wednesday night at Gus Young Court. The Gusties drop to 4-5 overall, while the Vikings, who received votes in the latest poll, remain undefeated at 10-0.

It took 1:21 for the game’s first basket but from there it was off to the races. The teams traded points over the next five minutes resulting in a 13-12 lead for the Gusties after a Jordan Schommer (Sr, Merrifield) three. The Vikings responded with a 13-3 run over the next three minutes for their largest lead of the first half at 25-16. Brady Kienitz (So., Raymond) and Cam Anderson (So., Blue Earth) made a pair of threes to bring the score within three, but once again the visitors went on a 10-4 run for another nine-point advantage with 7:43 left in the half. Jake Guse (Sr., Waseca) sparked a spree of 11 straight points with a pair of free throws, followed by a fast break three from Kienitz, turnaround jumper in the paint by Schommer, steal and fast break layup by Evan Wieker (Jr., St. Michael), and another floating jumper by Schommer to gain a 37-35 lead with 5:26 remaining in the half. Again, the Vikings had an answer with a 20-9 run to end the half up 55-46.

Bethany gained its largest lead of the game at 12 points twice early in the second half, leading 68-55 with 14:30 on the clock before the Gusties began to slowly chip away at the difference. Less than a minute after subbing into the game for his first appearance of the season, Carson Koch (Fy., Woodbury) sunk a three after a turnover and Schommer followed with a floating jumper to make the spread six points. The Vikings went back up nine, but the Gusties answered with buckets on the next three possessions that included a three from Anderson and a pair of jumpers from Spencer Swanson (So., Waconia) to make the score 75-73 with 8:27 remaining. That was the closest the Gusties got from gaining the lead, though, as the Vikings outscored the home team 21-15 to end the game.

“There was a lot of good that came from that game on many levels,” Head Coach Justin DeGrood said. “There too were things that showed up that we need to keep pushing forward in. Any time you play a good team your mistakes seem to hurt worse. We spoke to our guys after the game about the importance of striving to do your job both correctly and with urgency, especially on the defensive side of the floor. We just had too many times where we missed an assignment that proved costly. With that said, there were some really good things to build on. Offensively I really liked our pace and balance. We are really seeing our guys play an uptempo selfless style that is a joy to watch. Not having Adam [Biewen] or Cade [McGraw] created a bunch of minutes for others and it was really nice to see those guys play well in heightened situations.”

The Vikings edged the Gusties on the offensive end, converting at 54.3 percent to the Gusties’ 51.5 percent. Gustavus shot well from beyond the arc, making 11-of-21 three-pointers. Bethany made 11-of-27 from long range. Bethany also edged the Gusties on the boards 32-31.

Five Gusties reached double figures, led by Wieker with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Swanson had 19 including a team-high nine rebounds, Schommer added 15 points, while Guse and Kienitz both had 10. Guse also had three blocks and six boards.

Gustavus is off until Dec. 28 when it travels to Tacoma, Wash. for a game against the University of Puget Sound. The Gusties will also face Pacific Lutheran University on Dec. 30.

“This is a really fun group who loves to work and I’m excited to get back with them after finals break as we gear up for our last two non conference games in Seattle.”


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