Austin, Minn. / Austin
The St. Olaf men's basketball team continued its outstanding 2013-14 season last week, winning all three of its MIAC games to remain in the hunt for the conference title. Leading the Oles in all three wins was Connor Gunderson (Austin, Minn.). The senior guard averaged 20.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting nearly 70 percent from the floor (68.6) and 83.3 percent from the free throw line. For his role in the trio of victories, Gunderson was named the MIAC Men's Basketball Athlete-of-the-Week.
Monday, Gunderson had 20 points, five assists and four rebounds while shooting 6-for-9 from the floor in a 78-45 home win over Bethel. He scored two big baskets in the final two minutes Wednesday to help St. Olaf score a 52-47 win at Carleton as part of a 14-point, three-steal performance. Saturday, the senior was at his best in an 82-63 win over Augsburg with 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists while going a near-perfect 12-for-13 from the field. Gunderson's 15.2 points per game rank seventh in the MIAC, and he's third in field-goal percentage (.648), 10th in total rebounds (85) and 11th in free throw percentage (.783) and rebounds per game (5.0). He's been even better in MIAC play, averaging 15.4 points per game (fifth) and shooting .649 from the floor (second) and 82.5 percent from the line (fifth).
Thanks to the three wins, St. Olaf improved to 13-4 overall and 10-2 in conference play. The Oles are just a half-game back of first-place St. Thomas (10-1), and are securely in the hunt for the league title and a postseason bid. Gunderson and his teammates hope to build on their six-game winning streak this week when they host Saint Mary's Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., and on the road Saturday at third-place Gustavus in a 3 p.m. tip off.