Bench Points Spark SJU in 79-60 Win, McKenzie’s 150th

Bench Points Spark SJU in 79-60 Win, McKenzie’s 150th

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04.02.2023 | 13 o’clock

04 Feb (Sat) / 1 p.m



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COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. — Saint John’s Basketball earned 37 points from his bench and shot 51.6 percent (32 to 62) from the field in a 79-60 win — the 150th of head coach Pat McKenzie’s career — over Gustavus Adolphus on Wednesday . February 1st.

The Johnnies (13-7, 10-5 MIAC) went into the game with the sixth-best shot average (.497) in NCAA Division III and recorded 23 assists on 32 field goals. The home team shot 61.1 percent (22-36) from within the arc, with 72.2 percent (13-18) in the second half.

SJU held GAC (9-12, 9-7 MIAC) out the field at 29.6 percent (8 to 27) in the first half and led 36-28 at halftime. The Gusties made five of their first six shots in the second half, including all three attempts from three-point range, to cut the Johnnies’ lead to four (45-41). Sophomore guard Kooper Vaughn (St. Charles, Minn.) responded with a three to extend the lead and junior wing Ryan Thissen (Rosemount, Minn./Eastview) responded with buckets, both times Gustavus making it a five-point game next two possessions. Five points was the closest GAC would come to as SJU eventually opened up an eight-point game with an 11-0 run over a four-minute span.

Thissen led SJU with 16 points, three teammates netted in double figures from the bench. Junior guard Brandon Adelman (New London, Minnesota/New London-Spicer), who was just above a career-high 17 points in Monday night’s loss to Concordia, had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists overall. Freshman guard Kyle Johnson (Prior Lake, Minn./DeLaSalle) posted a career-high 11 points and junior guard Blake Berg (West Fargo, ND/Sheyenne) added 10 points and four assists. The trio combined to shoot 7-for-12 from behind the arc.

Vaughn ended the night with eight points and a career-high six assists, while senior post Mitchell Plombon (St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) came close to missing a double-double with nine points and nine boards.

Spencer Swanson, the reigning US Basketball Writers Association Division III men’s basketball international of the week, led all scorers with 17 points in 7-for-20 shooting.

McKenzie ’04 currently has a 150-44 (.773) record in eight seasons as head coach, including a 110-29 mark in conference play.

The Johnnies host Hamline (11-9, 7-8 MIAC) on Saturday, February 4 at 1pm at the Sexton Arena.

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