The Gustavus men's basketball team used a strong second half to propel them past Carleton 64-56 on Monday night in St. Peter, Minn. Senior guard Seth Anderson caught fire in the second half, scoring 17 points and going 7-for-7 from the field on the way to a game-high 26-point night.
With the win, Gustavus improves to 2-1 within conference play and 3-2 overall. Carleton sees its four-game win-streak come to an end and is now 2-1 in the MIAC and 4-2 overall.
After a layup by Anderson cut the Carleton lead to 10-9 at the 15:29 mark of the first half, the Knights would take advantage of an over six-minute Gustavus scoring drought, taking a 20-9 lead with under ten minutes left in the half.
Gustavus would climb back to within four points (25-21) on a three-pointer by junior wing Jim Hill at 2:28. Hill was 2-for-3 from three-point range in the first half.
Carleton's Taylor Hanson brought the score to 27-21 on a layup with 1:07 on the clock, and Anderson hit a runner with :08 seconds left to cut the lead to 23-27 at the break.
Carleton's big men went to work on the blocks in the first half. Hanson scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting to lead the way. Carleton shot 45.8-percent (11-24) from the field in the first half, while Gustavus shot 33.3-percent (10-30). Anderson was 4-for-9 for nine points in the half.
"In the first half I felt we forced some shots and let them sort of dictate our offense. We missed some good shots and had some interesting turnovers, but I thought we shook that off and came out better in the second half," said Head Coach Mark Hanson.
The Gusties came out with a game plan to double the posts in the second half, finding an answer to Carleton's big men.
"They are good enough that if you let them go one-on-one, they are probably going to have their way with you," said Hanson about the Carleton front-court. "I thought we did a nice job not only on the trap, but on the back side of the trap. Its nice to see it work the way it did."
Hanson (4 points) and Caleb Rosenow (9 points) were limited to a combined 13 points in the second half, while Carleton's leading scorer on the season Scott Theisen scored just three points in the final 20 minutes.
The Gusties battled their way back to take a 33-32 lead by the 14:38 mark following a pair of Reed Sallstrom free throws.
Gustavus would extend its lead to six points (42-36) by 10:29 only to see it disappear after Tom Sawatzke knotted the game (42-42) with a pair of three-pointers with 10:04 to play. Sawatzke led the Knights with 13 second half points.
Sawatze's game tying three-pointer would be Carleton's last field goal for over seven minutes. Gustavus used an 11-0 scoring-run within that time to lead 53-42 with 2:48 left to play.
A jumper by Seth Anderson and a pair of free throws from Blake Shay and Tyler Grey season the eight-point home-opening win for the Gusties. Gustavus shot a much improved 63.6-percent from the field in the second half. The Gusties scored 14 points off eight Knight turnovers in the frame.
"We talked about rebounding back after the loss to St. Thomas and tonight we played our game and got a big win," said Moore. "It was so nice to be back home. We were all tired of riding the bus and it was good to play in front of our Gustie friends and family."
Anderson finished the game 11-for-16 from the field and 4-for6 six at the line. A total of ten Gustavus players got on the scorecard with points. Jim Hill scored eight points behind Anderson, while Ben Biewen scored six and both Blake Shay and Ty Moore had five. Gustavus was 24-for-52 (46.2%) from the field, 3-for-8 (37.5%) from behind the arc, and 13-for-16 (81.3%) at the line. The Gusties won the turnover battle 13-to-15 and had eight steals to Carleton's two in the game.
The Knights finished the game with four players in double-figures. Hanson led the way with 16 points, while Rosenow scored 14, Sawatzke scored 13, and Theisen added 10. Carleton went 20-for-46 (43.2%) from the floor, 4-for-14 from three (28.6%), and 12-for-17 (70.6%) at the line.
The Gusties will play the final home game of the 2011 calendar year on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. against an Augsburg team that enters the contest at 5-0 on the season.