St. Paul, Minn. - The Gustavus men's basketball team fell at the hands of No. 2 St. Thomas 81-60 on Wednesday night at Schoenecker Arena. After trailing by one point with 7:50 to play in the opening 20 minutes of play, the Tommies finished the first half on a 17-to-5 run to take an 11-point lead to halftime and would never look back. The loss snaps a four-game win-streak for the Gusties, as they drop to 6-6 overall and 4-4 in the MIAC. St. Thomas remains unbeaten at 13-0 overall and 8-0 in the MIAC.
Gustavus and St. Thomas went stride-for-stride with each other in the first 12 minutes of the game, which saw the Gusties take a one-point lead on a Ben Biewen (Sr., Edina, Minn.) three-pointer with 7:50 remaining in the first half. From there, the Tommies went on to finish the half on a 17-to-5 run and took an 11-point lead into halftime.
St. Thomas seemingly picked up where they left off to begin the second half. The Tommies used a 22-to-9 run to open up their largest lead of the contest at 24 points with the score 58-34. St. Thomas would lead by as many as 26 in the second half before the Gusties were able to cut the advantage to as little as 15, but could not get any closer, as the Tommies propelled on to the 21-point victory.
For the game, Gustavus shot an even 50-percent (25-50) from the field compared to St. Thomas' 54.8-percent (34-62) mark. However, the Gusties were outscored 48-to-20 in the paint in the contest. The Tommies also held the advantage on the boards, outrebounding Gustavus 35-to-20 thanks in large part to 16 offensive rebounds.
Ben Biewen was the only Gustie to score in double-figures on the night. The senior finished with 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the floor. Biewen cashed in on both of his three-point attempts and also added four assists, three rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. Brody Ziegler (Fr., Mankato, Minn.) came off the bench to tie his career-high in scoring with nine points with a 4-for-7 shooting performance. Ziegler also grabbed three rebounds and dished out two assists. Jim Hill (Sr., Edina, Minn.) added nine points and Isaac Tapp (So., Stewartville, Minn.) registered a team-high six assists.
The Gusties will be back in action Monday, Jan. 14th when they welcome the Carleton Knights to St. Peter. Opening tip for that game set for 7:30 p.m. at Gus Young Court.