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Men's basketball suffers heartbreaker in St. Peter

Photo by Mike Ekern
Photo by Mike Ekern

ST. PETER, Minn. - A three-point attempt as the buzzer sounded did everything but go in, as it rattled out and handed Tommie men's basketball a heartbreaking 69-68 loss at the hands of Gustavus Adolphus College on Wednesday night at Gus Young Court. 

St. Thomas (9-8, 7-5 MIAC) scored the first six points of the game to jump out to the early lead.  The Tommies shot 50-percent (13-26) and outrebounded Gustavus (10-7, 8-4 MIAC) 16-10 in the first half on the way to a 36-33 lead at the break. 

However, the Gusties shot 64-percent (16-25) in the second half to outscore the Tommies by four in after the break, just enough to give UST the loss.  

An 8-2 run to open the second half gave Gustavus its first lead of the night (41-38).  A Burt Hedstrom three-pointer tied the contest on the next possession and the back-and-forth began.  

Neither team led by more than four points down the stretch.  With just less than a minute to go, the Gusties led by three points (69-66) after an Austin Goetz layup.  The Tommies answered with a Hedstrom layup on the ensuing possession.  

St. Thomas got the stop it needed on the next trip down the floor and called a timeout to draw up a set with 12 seconds remaining.  Needing to go the length of the floor, Hedstrom came up with a loose ball inside, but missed the layup. 

The rebound came out to junior Michael Hannon, who got a good look at three, but the attempt rattled in and came back out as the buzzer sounded in the narrow loss. 

The Purple shot 45.5-percent (25-55) from the field, but converted just seven of 13 free throw attempts (53.8%) on the night.  The Tommies also outrebounded the Gusties 32-25.  Gustavus shot 57.1-percent (28-49) from the floor. 

Senior Ryan Boll finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists to lead the way for the Tommies.  Hannon and Connor Bair followed in double-figure scoring with 11 points each.  

Vannis Smith had 13 points to lead Gustavus, and Peter Lundquist contributed 10 points off the bench. 

The Tommies will be back in action on Saturday afternoon when they host Hamline at 1:00 pm.