Men's basketball falls to Gustavus by one
February 1, 2012
SAINT PETER, Minn.- Stu Neville had 20 points and nine rebounds but the St. Olaf men's basketball team came up one point short, falling 64-63 to Gustavus Adolphus on Wednesday night at Gus Young Court.
Trailing 64-60 with 12 seconds to play, Michael Jenson hit a three pointer to cut the deficit to a single point. St. Olaf immediately fouled on the inbounds pass and James Hill missed both free throws to give the Oles a chance in the dying seconds. However, Nathan Kuck's desperation three from the left wing was no good, as the Gusties claimed the win.
St. Olaf got off to a perfect start, scoring the game's first seven points. Connor Gunderson scored all seven of the points, as the Gusties were scoreless for the first four minutes. The Oles led most of the first half and took a slender 31-30 lead into halftime.
Neville scored eight points in the opening couple minutes of the second half, as St. Olaf made five straight shots to claim a 41-36 lead with 17:11 remaining. The visitors held the lead until a Ben Biewen three pointer put Gustavus ahead 52-51 with 9:47 to play. The Gusties led the rest of the way and by as many as nine, before the Oles made it interesting in the closing minutes.
Neville's 20 points on 8-18 shooting led all scorers. Sterling Nielson was the only other Ole in double figures, scoring 11 off the bench. Gunderson added eight, while Bobby Fong was held to eight as well. Biewen led the Gusties with 18 on 7-12 from the field. Seth Anderson, the MIAC's leading scorer, was held to seven below his average but still managed 17. Paul Blacklock also added 10 points and seven boards.
Gustavus shot 15-26 (57.7%) in the second half en route to 52.7% for the game. St. Olaf shot 26-64 (40.6%) but struggled mightily from behind the arc. The Oles made just five of 23 attempts from three and also made just six of 12 free throws. St. Olaf held a 39-29 advantage on the boards and committed only six turnovers but it wasn't enough.
The Oles fall to 11-9, 10-5 in the MIAC, while the conference-leading Gusties improve to 15-5, 12-3 in conference play. St. Olaf is tied for third with Augsburg. The men return to action on Saturday with a home conference game against Bethel. Tip-off follows the women's game and is scheduled for 3 pm.