Auggie Basketball Teams Put Up a Fight Against Gustavus

Jacob Willis, contributor

On Saturday, Jan. 28, both Augsburg Basketball teams took on Gustavus in a doubleheader at Si Melby Hall, and fans were treated to two incredibly competitive games. 

On the men’s side, the Auggies started the game off with a bang, sinking a deep three to take the first lead of the game. The Gusties would soon answer back however, and that was a common theme throughout the first half. The back and forth matchup between the two teams featured physical defense and gritty post play. By the end of the first half, the Gusties held a slim lead, despite the Auggies leading for almost all of it. The Gusties came out of the break strong, and really let their post play shine. The Auggies wouldn’t go down without a fight and stormed back, getting within two points of the Gusties with a minute left in the game. 

In the end, some clutch free throw shooting by the visitors would put the Auggies away, and Gustavus would come away with an 84-82 victory. Senior forward Bradley Winter shared that despite the team’s struggles this season, he believes that the team has improved significantly. “This team is very young and just lacks the experience that we had last year, but I do believe we have made big improvements as the year goes on,” Winter said. 

On the women’s side, the Gusties provided a tough matchup for the Auggies. Gustavus came into this matchup as the 25th-ranked team in the country and in first place in the MIAC. Throughout the game, the Gusties used their clear size advantage, dominating post play and controlling the boards. To combat the size advantage, the Auggies used quickness and jump shots to stay in the game. Scoring came as no easy feat for the Auggies as Gustavus’ physical play on defense was a force to be reckoned with. Rebounding and post play seemed to be automatic for the Gusties, and in the end that was the determining factor as the Auggies fell by a score of 55-43. This game dropped Augsburg’s record to 9-9, while the Gusties improved theirs to 17-2. 

Despite the loss, the Auggies gave Gustavus one of the closest games they’ve played all year. Senior guard Grace Eastman shared that she has full confidence in the team’s ability to finish strong this season. “I think after that game we are pretty confident we can get going on a winning streak again,” Eastman said. “Yes we lost, but we did actually end up keeping Gustavus to one of their lowest scoring games all season, and I feel like that does say something and shows the potential that this team possesses.”

With the last leg of the season coming up, both the Augsburg men’s and women’s basketball teams hope to finish the season strong, and all signs point to that hope becoming a reality.