Minneapolis, Minn. – The Gustavus men's basketball team used an 18-2 run midway through the second half to pull away with a 70-59 victory over Augsburg on Wednesday night at Si Melby Hall. Gustavus, winner in six of its last seven games, is now 8-6 (6-4 MIAC) on the season. Augsburg falls to 12-3 (7-3 MIAC).
In a first half that featured nine ties and seven lead changes, it was only fitting that the two squads would head to the locker room tied 32-32 at halftime. The opening 20 minutes of the game saw the Gusties shoot 50-percent (14-28) from the floor, while the Auggies produced a similar mark of 44.8-percent (13-29).
The back-and-forth play continued in the early minutes of the second half. Reed Sallstrom (Sr., Winthrop, Minn.) knocked down a jumper to open the scoring on the first possession of the final frame. Tyler Schmidt answered with a three-pointer on the ensuing Augsburg possession to put the Auggies up 35-34 two possessions in. Two minutes later, after the tenth tie of the game, the Auggies took a two-point lead at the 15:35 mark on a jumper from Noah Veach.
From there, the Gusties took off on an 18-2 run that encompassed 8:07 of action to give Gustavus its largest lead of the game at 14 points with 7:28 remaining with the score 56-42. Martin Feddersen (So., Winona, Minn.) ignited the run when he converted on a layup at the at the 15:13 mark. Six different Gusties scored in the run, which was capped off by Sallstrom layup.
Following the Gustie run, Augsburg was able to cut the lead to nine on three separate occasions, but could not get any closer. Gustavus went 6-for-7 from the free throw line in the final four minutes of the game to seal the 11-point victory. After a perfect 3-for-3 from the stripe in the first half, the Gusties finished 9-for-10 from the charity stripe in the contest.
Despite cold shooting from behind the three-point line (1-7), Gustavus shot 57.7-percent (30-52) from the field compared to Augsburg's 41.5-percent (22-53) mark. The Gusties outrebounded the Auggies (30-27) and also held a narrow advantage in the turnover battle (14-12).
Jim Hill (Sr., Edina, Minn.) led all scorers on the night with 20 points for Gustavus. Hill also added six rebounds, two assists and three blocks in the game. Ben Biewen (Sr., Edina, Minn.) produced a line of his own with 14 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals. Isaac Tapp (So., Stewartville, Minn.) also got in the scoring mix with 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field.
Andy Seidlitz led Augsburg in scoring with 14 points. He also added four rebounds and three assists. Tyler Schmidt came next with 13 points and two assists. Dan Kornbaum chipped in 12 points and also led the team in rebounding with seven. Noah Veach was the last Auggie in double-figures with 10 points.
The Gusties will return home for a Saturday afternoon match-up with Concordia on Jan. 19th. Opening tip for that game is set for 3:00 p.m. at Gus Young Court.