The Gustavus men’s basketball team concluded their regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 19 with a loss to No. 11 St. Thomas. Although the team lost, the men had a major come back in the last minute and fifty seconds of the game. The team gained back eight points, and in the end fell to the Tommies by a score of 73-68.
After Wednesday, Gustavus fell to 16-9 overall and 13-7 in the MIAC. The team had started off their season strong, but had some difficulties winning games soon after returning from winter break.
“After Christmas break we had the worst part of our season. When we were winning we weren’t winning by much. We got on the right track again,” Senior Jordan Dick said.
Overall, the men were satisfied with their season. With some tough competition from other teams in the conference, the team was challenged but played well and achieved many of their biggest goals.
“Beating Saint John’s away and beating Bethel was big for the team. We hadn’t beat Bethel in probably three years. The way we played and recovered after last year was important for the program,” Junior Martin Fedderson said.
One of the men’s biggest accomplishments of the season was winning the quarterfinals game at Saint John’s on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Since Gustavus was seeded lower than Saint John’s in the playoffs, the game was played at the Johnnies’ home court. The Gusties’ one-point win was a surprising upset. The two teams were tied for the last minute and fifteen seconds of the game, until Dick made a free throw to put the Gusties up by one point with two seconds left to play.
On Friday, Feb. 28 Gustavus will travel to Northfield, MN to take on St. Olaf in the MIAC Semi-Finals game. The two teams will tip off at 7:30 p.m.
The men agree that this season was significantly better than previous years. With new players and improvement among the returning players, the men have been excited about their achievements.
“Our athleticism is exciting and gives the fans something to be excited about. We’ve had a few dunks this year and that has never happened before,” Dick said.
As a team, the men have played well together and Head Coach Mark Hanson has been a positive influence on his players. With one of the best defenses in the conference, the team is looking ahead and hoping for great outcomes in the post-season and in future seasons.
“Everyone gets along really well and we are good at coming together as a team. We also share the ball really well,” Junior Isaac Tapp said.
The team has high hopes for next year, and believes they will come back stronger than ever next season since only one of their best players will be graduating.
“We are a young team and this off-season will be big for us. Hopefully we will come back even stronger next year,” Fedderson said.