Autumn Zierman – Staff Writer
Though any Economics and Statistics majors will know the hot hand in Basketball—which refers to the belief that a streak of victories mean the next game will be a victory too, is a false social cognitive bias—if anyone has a hot hand outside the study rooms, it is the GAC Basketball team. Achieving a three-game winning streak this Monday against Bethel, the GAC Men’s Basketball team is sitting on a 3-2 record for the season and a 3-1 for this year in the MIAC.
Leading the charge for his team, current Senior Peter Lundquist sat down to shed light on how the team is doing this year.
“We lost the first two games this year, which was tough, especially because we had a tough end of year last year. We had dropped seven games by the end of the season,” Lundquist said.
It seems the team has emerged from the end of that streak and is ramping up with a winning streak in a far more condensed season this year.
“We have limited practice times, but that is because we have three games a week. What was originally a four to five-week schedule has been crunched into two weeks with a game every other day of the week,” Lundquist said.
In the middle of their season, the Men’s Basketball team does not show signs of slowing down. On February 24, the team triumphed over St. Mary’s with a finishing score of 61-60. Last Saturday the team took an earned victory over Concordia with an ending score of 78-69, and finally, Monday night the team triumphed over Bethel finishing the game 70-62.
In an interview with Sports Information Director CJ Siewert, Head Coach Mark Hanson explains the victory on Saturday.
“I think we’ve made some strides offensively and we started getting a feel for making the extra pass and running our offense, while also taking advantage of what their defense gave us. We had a size advantage and made an effort to get the ball inside, but when you get into a flow like we did today, the shots feel better,” Hanson said.
Lundquist, one of the players credited for Saturday’s victory, explains the game.
“It was a fun game; I’ve never lost to Concordia which is good because with a four-hour bus ride that would be a tough ride back. Everyone felt prepared, we had an advantage on the inside and used it. By half we were up 17 points,” Lundquist said.
Despite the high energy from victory, the team has had to work much harder this year than previous to stay motivated.
“Without the fans and parents in the stand we had to keep our energy up. It is also exhausting to be on such a different schedule. We have had to stop twice to quarantine in our practice season, so we aren’t in the same physical shape,” Lundquist said.
“Team morale is really up and down— COVID is frustrating. We get tested three times a week. But we have a pretty tight knit group and are all pretty close friends, even if we don’t get to spend as much together off the court. Being on the court it’s like our social hour,” Lundquist said.
For seniors like Lundquist, however, the ability to get on the court comes as a welcome relief to the season’s uncertainty. Basketball has been instrumental to many of the team’s years at Gustavus, and Lundquist is no exception.
“I have played varsity from 2017 to now, all four years. It is the most impactful thing in my life at GAC. I didn’t come to college to play basketball, but it takes so much of your time that it becomes one of the most important things you do. I have made lifelong friends here and year to year have gained perspective as it changes,” Lundqiust said.
“I would say work and practice hard. Respect everyone. Above all though, find a way to have fun with it,” Lundquist said, offering advice to the underclassmen and upcoming Gusties.
As the team looks to wrap up their season in the coming weeks, some seniors are looking to say goodbye to GAC. Lundquist, however, is excited to stay on for another season, taking advantage of the ninth semester offer by Gustavus that lets those affected by COVID to have a last taste of collegiate life. After the end of his time at GAC as a Public Accounting Major, he will look to find a job in that industry, having already completed an internship at an insurance company last year.
“I still have no idea what I want to do, but I am okay with that,” Lundquist said.
Whatever he chooses, the GAC community will be there to cheer him on, just as we cheer on the Men’s Basketball team as they head for Hamline on March 6.