Men's basketball cruises to win at Saint Mary's in MIAC opener
November 28, 2012
WINONA, Minn.- Led by Connor Gunderson's 20 points, the St. Olaf men's basketball team rolled to an 80-62 win over Saint Mary's in the MIAC opener for both teams on Wednesday night at the SMU Gym.
Gunderson's game-high 20 points came on an efficient 8-11 shooting performance from the field. Gunderson also posted six rebounds, but the Oles got contributions from much of their lineup in the win.
Nick Hanson, Riley Aeikens, and Charlie Aslesen each scored nine points for the Oles. Sterling Nielsen, Josh Pratt, and Justin Pahl had seven points apiece in the balanced scoring night for St. Olaf. As a team, St. Olaf shot 57.7% (30-52) from the field. Ten of the 12 misses for the Oles came from behind the arc, where St. Olaf was just 2-12.
St. Olaf controlled the game from the outset and led by as many as 21 in the first half. After the score was tied at 2 early, the Oles made five straight shots to take a 14-6 lead. Six of the points during the hot spell came on two three-point plays by Gunderson.
St. Olaf (2-2, 1-0 MIAC) never led by less than 17 in the second half, as they kept the Cardinals (0-4, 0-1 MIAC) from making any significant run. The Oles biggest lead was 28 at 51-33 after a Michael Jenson three with 12:54 remaining.
First-year Mark Schumacher led the Cardinals with 19 points on 8-11 shooting. Schumacher nailed each of his three three-pointers in the game. Will Swiggum was the only other Saint Mary's player in double figures, as he posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Cardinals shot 44.1% (19-43) for the game, but committed 22 turnovers in the loss. Nielsen and Aslesen each had four steals for the Oles. St. Olaf committed a season-high 17 turnovers of their own. Saint Mary's was also plagued by poor free throw shooting. The hosts were just 18-31 (58.1%) from the charity stripe, while St. Olaf was 18-20 (90.0%).
Next up for the Oles is a trip to St. Paul on Saturday for a game against Macalester at 3 pm. St. Olaf then plays its MIAC home opener on Monday, December 3 when Gustavus comes to the Skoglund Center for a 7:30 tip-off.