Late free throw shooting pushes Gustavus to win over Ole men
December 3, 2012
NORTHFIELD, Minn.- Gustavus made all eight of its free throws in the final minute of the game as they defeated the St. Olaf men's basketball team 83-79 on Monday night at the Skoglund Center.
The Gusties' nerveless foul shooting down the stretch was the difference in a tightly-contested game. The final 11 points for Gustavus all came at the line over the final 2:14 of the game. Meanwhile, St. Olaf missed three key free throws, including two front ends of one-and-ones, down the stretch.
St. Olaf led 40-38 at halftime and used a strong start to the second half to take a 46-40 lead, which was its largest of the game. The Oles got threes from Connor Gunderson and Charlie Aslesen in the first three minutes of the second half to stretch the lead to six.
An Aslesen layup put the Oles ahead 50-45 with 15:06 remaining but Gustavus responded with a 16-5 run to take a six point lead with 8:41 to play. Jordan Dick made two threes during the run and the Gusties held the Oles to just 2-10 shooting as they took their largest lead of the night.
Ater St. Olaf took a 53-51 lead on a three by Josh Pratt with 6:31 left, eight straight points from Ben Biewen helped Gustavus regain a six point lead. From there, clutch free throw shooting kept the Oles at bay, despite two St. Olaf threes in the final 30 seconds.
Gunderson led the Oles with 22 points on 10-14 shooting from the field before fouling out in the final minutes. Sterling Nielsen made six of 11 shots en route to 15 points and a season-high seven assists. Pratt went 3-5 from behind the arc as he was the third Ole in double figures with 12 points. In his first start of the year, Nick Hanson hauled in 11 rebounds, including seven offensive boards.
Gustvaus was led by Biewen's 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Jim Hill scored 18 points, making seven of eight free throws. Three other Gusties were also in double figures as Dick and Reed Sallstrom each scored 12 points and Blake Shay added 10. Sallstrom was 5-5 from the floor.
Both teams shot over 50% from the floor. Gustavus finished at 53.1% (26-49) and St. Olaf was 51.7% (30-58). The teams each shot the ball well from behind the arc, making 16 threes between them. Free throw shooting proved the difference, as Gustavus was 24-29 (82.8%) while St. Olaf was 10-14 (71.4%).
With the win, Gustavus improves to 2-3, 1-2 in the MIAC. St. Olaf suffers its first conference loss and sits at 2-1 in the conference and 3-3 overall. The Oles now take a break from conference play until the New Year. St. Olaf faces UW-Eau Claire and UW-Superior in Eau Claire on December 28 and 29.