The Gustavus men's basketball team has put together some strong defensive efforts in the month of January, but none like Wednesday night in Northfield, Minn., as the Gusties limited the Knights to season-lows of 12 field goals and 26.7-percent shooting from the field on their way to a 54-40 victory.
The Gusties get back on track and improve to 12-5 overall and 9-3 in the MIAC with the victory, while Carleton drops to 6-11 overall and 3-9 in the MIAC with the loss.
Gustavus jumped out to an early lead after taking advantage of a cold Carleton shooting performance in the first 10 minutes of the game. A layup by Seth Anderson at the 9:33 mark gave the Gusties their largest lead of the half up 21-8. A three-pointer by Carleton's Scott Theisen cut the lead to 21-15, yet the Gusties quickly responded with a 5-0 run to go back up 26-15 with 5:19 left in the frame.
Gustavus' advantage would range between the 10 and 12-point range until Carleton's Tom Sawatzke brought the score to within eight (32-24) on the final bucket of the half with :04 seconds on the clock.
Gustavus outshot Carleton 53.6-to-30.4-percent and committed just one turnover in the first half. Theisen led all scorers in the opening half 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Ben Biewen led the Gusties with nine points after going 4-for-5 from the field.
The second half began with a Tyler Grey three-pointer (35-24) on the opening possession and the Gusties would hold a comfortable lead in the high single digits for the first eight minutes.
With a 39-29 lead at the 12:01 point, a jumper by Anderson sparked an 11-to-2 run that saw Gustavus take a 50-31 lead with by the 6:57 mark. The Knight's went 1-for-7 inside the run, as Gustavus forced three turnovers.
Carleton shot just 22.7-percent from the field and turned the ball over nine times in the second half. Gustavus shot 40.0-percent from the floor, as Anderson led the way with seven points. Tyler Grey added six points and was 2-of-3 from three-point range.
Despite being out-rebounded 36-27 in the game, the Gusties turned in their best ball control performance of the season, committing a season-low five turnovers and scoring 13 points off 15 Carleton giveaways.
Jim Hill matched his season-high of 13 points, going 6-for-8 from the field. Anderson's 13 points came on a 6-for-16 night. Gustavus went 23-for-48 (47.9%) from the field, 3-for-12 (25%) from three-point range, and 5-for-11 (45.5%) from the free throw line.
Carleton's Scott Theisen and Caleb Rosenow led all scorers with 14 points each. Thiesen was 4-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from three-point land, while Rosenow went 4-for-11 from the field and 6-for-7 at the charity stripe. Both players recorded double-doubles as Theisen brought down 12 rebounds and Rosenow recorded 10.
Due to a loss by Augsburg tonight, Gustavus moves into sole possession of second place in the league standings, thus setting up a battle between first place St. Thomas and second place Gustavus on Saturday, Jan. 28th in St. Peter, Minn. The Tommies lead the league with a MIAC mark of 10-2 and an overall record of 13-4. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. on Gus Young Court.