AUGSBURG 68, CONCORDIA 52</strong>
The Auggies, behind torrid three-point shooting by David Olson and Jon Cassens, broke open a close game and captured a 68-52 win over the visiting Cobbers. Olson dropped in a season-high 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting. Cassens added a season-best 17 points, including three long treys in a 20-7 Augsburg run that turned the tide of the game. (<a href="http://www.collegesportingnews.com/stats/writer/2009/miac/20100109Coach_Griess_audio.mp3">Hear Auggie Coach Aaron Griess talk about the win here</a>)
Augsburg drained 50% of its second half shots while limiting Concordia to just 29%. For the game, the Auggies converted 48.1% from the field and were a toasty 60.0% (9-for-15) from behind the arc. Olson dropped in four of five attempts from three-point land, while Cassens was three for three, Ben Flavin connected on two of his three three-point attempts. They committed only six turnovers on the night. Cassens added six rebounds and four assists, while Flavin doled out four assists and scored 11 points. Cory Polta grabbed eight rebounds and Andy Grzesiak-Grimm pulled in seven.
Darrin Olmscheid and John Fraase, each of whom posted a double-double, paced the Cobbers. Olmscheid ended the night with 15 points and 10 rebounds along with a pair of blocked shots. Fraase posted 12 points and 11 rebounds. Concordia held a 37-33 edge off the boards and committed just nine turnovers. The Cobbers shot 43.3% in the first half, but cooled off in the second and were at 36.1% for the game.
Augsburg started the game sizzling, as they rained threes and jumped off to a 28-17 lead. In that stretch, Olson tallied 12 points and Flavin added eight. They seemed poised to turn the game into a blowout. (<a href="http://www.collegesportingnews.com/stats/writer/2009/miac/20100109Olson_audio.mp3">Listen to Olson discuss the game here</a>)
The Cobbers regrouped and held Olson and Flavin scoreless the rest of the half. A long trey by Karl Olson kicked off an 11-0 run that tied the game. Erik Lien hit a jumper in the final seconds of the half to send Concordia into the intermission with a 32-30 lead .Fraase posted 10 first half points.
At the half, the Auggies made some defensive changes, designed to neutralize Fraase and the Cobbers’ inside game. The defensive effort paid off as they limited the Cobber big man to a single bucket in the second stanza.
On the other end of the court, Olson and Cassens turned up the offensive volume. After Cassens drained an NBA-range trey to give the Auggies the lead for good, they rolled on a 15-2 run, with Cassens scoring 10 in that run. From that point, the Auggies maintained a lead of over 15 the rest of the way. (<a href="http://www.collegesportingnews.com/stats/writer/2009/miac/20100109Cassens_audio.mp3">Hear Cassens’ comments on the game here</a>)
<strong>CARLETON 80, SAINT MARY’S 63</strong>
Seth Jonker posted a career-high 25 points and set a school record for field-goal accuracy, leading the Knights to an 80-63 win at Saint Mary’s. Jonker connected on 10-of-11 shots, tallying 16 second half points and hauling in five rebounds. The win snapped a three game MIAC losing streak for Carleton.
The Knights connected on 58.2% of their shots for the night and were a model of consistency, shooting 59.3% in the first half and 57.1% in the second. They held a 32-24 edge in rebounds, with Bryan Rosett leading the effort off the glass with six. Jeremy Sutherland added 14 points, while Blaise Davis posted career-highs in assists (six) and steals (four).
For Saint Mary’s, the game marked a third consecutive MIAC loss. The Cards were led by Will Wright, who scored 18, and Lukas Holland, who chipped in 14. Tim Kunkel grabbed a game-best seven rebounds.
The two teams battled evenly for the opening 15 minutes. Carleton found its groove and closed the first half with a 14-2 run, as they scored the final 11 points of the stanza. That gave them a 45-34 halftime cushion.
Saint Mary’s rallied in the second half, using a 10-3 spurt to pull within four. They could draw no closer, as the Knights sandwiched runs of 14-6 and 8-0 around a 7-0 Cardinal run over the game’s final 11 minutes to seal the win.
<strong>GUSTAVUS 70, MACALESTER 38</strong>
The Gusties, who led from wire to wire, dominated play in the first half and cruised to a 70-38 win over the Scots. Gustavus had 13 players score and 15 men saw at least five minutes of playing time.
GAC shot 58% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, drained nine-of-11 free throws and held a 17-7 edge off the glass as they jumped off to a 40-13 lead by the intermission. They scored the first seven points of the game, and took a quick 12-2 lead. The lead mushroomed to over 20 by the 3:49 marker of the first half and stayed over 25 throughout the second half.
For the night, the Gusties shot 51% from the field, and held a 35-21 edge off the boards. Gustavus canned 17-of-20 free throws (85%) on the night.
Phil Wirtjes led the way with 11 points and three steals. Ryan McPartland added 10 points and five rebounds.
For Mac, Pierce Peters was the lone player in double figures, scoring 13. He added four rebounds and a steal. Jerry Kraus had a game-best six rebounds. The Scots shot just 35.6% from the floor, but were 40.0% in the second half. They committed 19 turnovers.
<strong>HAMLINE 72, BETHEL 70</strong>
The Pipers used an 18-5 outburst in the middle of the second half to pull ahead of the Royals. They then held off a late Bethel rally to take home a 72-70 win.
The teams battled to a draw over the opening 13 minutes of play before Taylor Hall drained a jumper with just under five minutes to go in the first half, kicking off a 15-6 run that sent the Royals into the intermission with a 40-32 lead.
Bethel maintained a small lead throughout the first 12 minutes of the second half, before Carl Hipp drained a pair of free throws, lifting Hamline to a 57-56 lead. Over the next 90 seconds, Ray Brown and Victor Easter combined for back-to-back three-pointers, extending the Hamline lead to seven. Hamline pushed that margin to nine with four minutes remaining before Bethel made a final rally. The Royals trimmed the margin to three with 1:17 left but a pair of free throws by Noah Aguirre iced the win for Hamline.
Hamline out-rebounded Bethel 31-25, and won the game at the free throw line. The Pipers were 14-for-16 from the charity stripe in the second half, to Bethel’s five-of-six. Brown led Hamline with 14 points and nine rebounds. Aguirre added 12 points and three steals. Three Pipers – Hipp, Dan Andersen and Levi Wenrich – each posted eight points.
Hall led all scorers with 19 points, on seven for 10 shooting. He added four rebounds and two blocked shots. Nate Robertson tallied 12 points, six boards and two steals, while Greg Meyer chipped in 10 points off the bench.
<strong>SAINT JOHN’S 87, ST. OLAF 81</strong>
The Johnnies opened the second half with a 12-2 run and iced the game by draining eight consecutive free throws over the final three minutes of play to take home an 87-81 win over the Oles.
It was a game of spurts. SJU raced to an 11-0 lead behind back-to-back threes by Chris Schwartz before St. Olaf responded with a 13-2 run to tie the game midway through the first half. The Johnnies staked a 10-point lead on two other occasions in the first half before the Oles cut it to four at the break.
Andrew Latzke canned back-to-back treys to open the second half, sparking a 12-2 run for SJU. The teams traded 10-0 runs in the second half. St. Olaf, which trailed by as many as 14, cut the lead to three with 0:26 to play. The Johnnies steely shooting at the line enabled them to thwart the Oles’ rally.
Aaron Burtzel led SJU, posting his fifth double-double of the year. He scored 17, with 12 rebounds and added four assists. Burtzel was five-of-six from the field and seven-of-nine from the line. Aaron Barmore added 16 points, while Sam Blank and Latzke each chipped in 10. The Jays held a 44-27 margin off the boards, but committed 14 turnovers to the Oles’ eight. SJU shot 54.7% from the floor for the night, including 10-for-20 from behind the rainbow.
For St. Olaf, Mark Torell led the way with 22 points and three steals. Bobby Fong added 20 points and five rebounds. Stu Neville chipped in 15 points. The Oles converted 44.6% of their shots, including 48.3% in the opening stanza.
CONCORDIA 76, MACALESTER 54</strong>
The Cobbers combined a good shooting performance with stout defense to throttle the Scots 76-54. Concordia limited Macalester to 11.1% shooting from three-point range and 35.7% from the field while rippling the net with 53.4% of their shots. The Cobbers also converted half of their three-point attempts.
Concordia never trailed and opened the game with an 18-8 spurt that was highlighted by a pair of treys by Karl Olson. The lead grew to 18 at the half after Jonathan Molina drilled back-to-back jumpers to give the Cobbers a 42-24 lead at the break. They never let up in the second half, extending the margin to 30 and never allowed Mac closer than the final margin.
The Cobbers enjoyed a 37-31 advantage in rebounds. A total of 15 Cobbers saw at least four minutes of action and 11 of them scored. Olson paced the attack with 15 points, including three treys, and five assists. Darrin Olmscheid dropped in 10 points. John Fraase grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked three shots to go with his six points.
Macalester was led by Colin Keely, who put up 24 points and seven rebounds off the bench. He connected on 11 of 15 shots and was the lone Scot to reach double figures. Jerry Kraus added seven points, six rebounds and three steals, while Pierce Peters notched four assists and four rebounds to go with his six points.
<strong>GUSTAVUS 69, ST. OLAF 56</strong>
The Gusties torched the net in the second half, shooting 83.3%, to storm back from a 16-point deficit and take a 69-56 win over St. Olaf. After struggling through the first 29 minutes, GAC was invincible over the final 11 to secure the win.
St. Olaf jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, and kept Gustavus off-balance throughout the first half. GAC was unable to draw closer than six and the Oles took a 36-25 lead into the intermission.
The Oles opened the second half with a 9-0 spurt and seemed poised to run away with an easy win. With St. Olaf on top 49-40, the Gusties offense began clicking. Jesse Van Sickle bookended a 12-0 run with a jumper and a trey, propelling the Gusties to a 52-49 lead. That outburst was pat of a 23-2 run that turned the game from an Ole rout to a Gusties romp. During that stretch, the Oles could only hit one of 11 shots.
Gustavus shot 66.7% from the floor for the night and was 57.1% from behind the arc. They out-rebounded St. Olaf 29-21, and were a solid 13-for-18 (72.2%) from the free throw line. Sam Paulson led the way, scoring 15, with eight rebounds and three steals. Ryan McPartland tallied 13 points with six rebounds, and Paul Blacklock added six boards and three blocks. Phil Wirtjes finished with eight points and four assists.
The Oles, who shot 53.8% in the first half, turned frigid in the second half, hitting just 29.6%. They were an icy 20.0% from three-point range, but posted 11 steals and forced 17 turnovers. Stu Neville led the way with 15 points and four rebounds. Nate Krosschell added eight points and a pair of steals. Three Oles – Alfred Jaryan, Mark Torell and Bobby Fong - each finished with nine points. Jaryan added five assists and five steals.
<strong>HAMLINE 93, SAINT MARY’S 57</strong>
The Pipers scored the first 15 points of the game and never looked back, rolling past the Cardinals 93-57 at Hamline. Twelve players scored for Hamline, with 13 players seeing at least five minutes of action.
After jumping to a quick 15-0 lead, the Pipers extended their margin to 25 late in the first half and took a 42-19 lead into the intermission. They scored the first six points of the second half and steadily pulled away, as the lead grew to as many as 45 late in the game.
Hamline outshot Saint Mary’s 57.4% to 28.6% for the night. The Pipers were a sizzling 59.1% from the floor in the first half and shot 56.7% in the second. They dominated off the glass with a 46-25 edge and recorded 27 assists. Carl Hipp led the scorers with 20 points, hitting 10-of-12 shots. Ray Brown notched 12 points and 10 rebounds; he also had five assists. Dan Andersen chipped in 12 points off the bench while Noah Aguirre posted 11 points.
For SMU, Will Wright led the way with 17 points. Chris Palmer added 13 points, nine rebounds and a pair of steals. Thomas Sims chipped in 10 points off the bench. The loss was the Cardinals’ fourth consecutive in MIAC play, dropping them to 2-4. Overall, SMU is 4-7. Saint Mary’s returns to action on Monday at St. Thomas, with road games at St. Olaf and Concordia rounding out the week.
<strong>SAINT JOHN’S 77, AUGSBURG 62</strong>
Led by a career-high 20 points from Aaron Barmore, the Johnnies pulled away from the Auggies and claimed a 77-62 win. Augsburg’s Marcus Brumm posted a career-high 22 points in the losing effort.
Barmore added six rebounds and five assists to spark SJU. Andy Burns chipped in 16 points and three assists and Chris Schwartz tallied 11 points and six assists. Aaron Burtzel continued to stake his claim to the MIAC MVP, scoring 11 points, to go with eight boards, seven assists and two steals.
SJU shot 55.2% for the night, including 57.1% in the second half. The Jays were eight-for-19 (42.1%) from three-point range.
Augsburg shot just 39.37% for the night and was a frigid 14.3% (two for 14) from three-point land. They held a slim 33-30 edge off the glass and recorded eight steals.
In addition to his 22 points, Brumm added five rebounds and two steals. David Olson tallied 15 points, with three assists and two steals. Cory Polta finished with 10 points and a team-leading seven rebounds.
Augsburg jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead off a three-pointer and layup by Olson. Schwartz drained successive three-pointers to ignite a 16-2 SJU run over the next three minutes. The Johnnies steadily built the lead to 11 late in the first half before Augsburg pulled to within five. A layup by Sam Blank gave SJU a 38-31 lead at the half.
The Johnnies opened the second half with a 12-4 run, fueled by five points from Barmore. Augsburg cut the St. John's lead to five on a layup by Brumm with 10:05 left to play but Saint John’s countered with three quick buckets to nip the rally and preserve the win.
<strong>ST. THOMAS 61, BETHEL 50</strong>
The Tommies led from start to finish and overcame cold second half shooting to hold off the Royals for a 61-50 win. Eleven of 12 players seeing action scored for UST, which shot 51.37% from the floor in the first half but only 33.3% in the second.
Tyler Nicolai led the way, scoring 16 points, while notching three steals and a pair of assists. Alex Healy chipped in 12 points, five rebounds, four steals and four assists in just 25 minutes of playing time. Josh Peltier pulled down a team-best six rebounds, helping UST to a 32-29 advantage off the boards. The Tommies committed just 11 turnovers and posted 14 steals.
Greg Meyer’s 14 points led Bethel. Daniel Baah chipped in 11 points off the bench while Rob Lang tallied 10 points and five rebounds. Nate Robertson grabbed a game-best nine boards, with nine points, three assists, two blocks and two steals. The Royals shot 39.1% from the field. They connected on half of their three-pointers, but only had four attempts. Bethel was hurt by 17 turnovers.
The Tommies broke an early 6-6 tie with a 13-2 run, which Healy capped with a trey and a subsequent layup. The margin grew to as many as 18 in the first half and UST took a 37-21 lead into the break. The Tommies kept the margin in double figures until late in the game when Bethel drew within seven on a pair of free throws by Baah. Nicolai countered with a deep three, and scored seven points in the final three minutes to wrap up the win.
AUGSBURG 74, MACALESTER 58</strong>
The Auggies never trailed, shooting 50% from the field and breezed by the Scots 74-58. Jon Cassens posted a game-best and season-high 18 points while handing out six assists to spark the Auggies.
Cassens was five-for-seven from the floor and seven-for-seven from the line to pace Augsburg. He also grabbed five rebounds. Andy Grzesiak-Grimm added 16 points and a game-best eight rebounds. David Olson chipped in 12 points. The Auggies held a 34-25 advantage in rebounds, and were 20-for-24 (83.3%) from the charity stripe.
Colin Keeley’s 12 points led Macalester. The Scots, who shot 40.0% for the game, struggled from three-point range, particularly in the second half when they were 0-for-5. Pierce Peters had a team leading five rebounds to go with his seven points. Mac held onto the ball well, committing only 13 turnovers, while forcing 16.
The Scots kept things close over the first 16 minutes, as they never fell behind by more than seven. A three-pointer by Holden Bigler-Johnson at the 4:39 mark of the first half pulled them within two, but Cassens and Grzesiak-Grimm combined for a 9-0 spurt to give the Auggies a 37-26 lead at the half.
Grzesiak-Grimm opened the second half with five unanswered points, starting with a dunk, to push the lead to 14. It stayed in double digits the rest of the way, peaking at 24 as the Auggies coasted to the win.
Augsburg improves to 4-3 in MIAC play and 9-3 overall. They are in sole possession of fourth place. On the week ahead, the Auggies are at home twice, hosting Bethel and Carleton.
The loss was Macalester’s 36th consecutive in MIAC play, dropping them to 0-8 in league action and 2-11 overall. The Scots travel to Carleton on Wednesday before returning home to tangle with St. Olaf.
<strong>GUSTAVUS 73, HAMLINE 66</strong>
The Gusties used a strong second half to rally and slip past the Pipers 73-66 at Gustavus, doing their part to set the stage for a battle of unbeatens with St. Thomas. The GAC bench proved to be the difference, outscoring Hamline’s bench 21-2 in the second half to help secure the win.
Gustavus sizzled the net in the second half, connecting on 61.5% of its shots. For the game, they shot 55.6% from three-point range. The Gusties out-rebounded the Pipers 35-20; Hamline entered the game as the MIAC’s leader in rebounds. The Gusties committed only 10 turnovers. Phil Wirtjes, who scored 16 points, led the attack. Seth Anderson came off the bench and dropped in 15 points while doling out six assists. Ryan McPartland grabbed seven rebounds while scoring nine points.
Ray Brown, who scored 26 points, led Hamline. Brown canned four threes (while attempting 11) and pulled down five rebounds. He was the lone Piper to reach double figures. Hamline shot 49.0% for the game, but was only able to connect on 31.3% of its treys. They handled the ball well, with just seven turnovers.
Hamline took an early lead, starting the game with a 7-2 run. The Gusties battled back to take a two point lead at the 12:56 mark. The Pipers erupted for an 11-0 run midway through the first half, but the Gusties chipped away and closed within a bucket with under a minute left in the half. A layup by Brown sent the teams into the intermission with Hamline leading 35-31.
The Pipers continued to control the tempo in the early part of the second half, as they built their lead to seven points. The Gusties battled back and tied the game on a layup by Seth Anderson. They were unable to take the lead until Paul Blacklock scored on a layup to give Gustavus a 54-52 lead. Over the next four minutes, the lead changed hands seven times before drained a three pointer with 3:41 remaining to give Gustavus the lead for good. Hamline had a chance to tie it late in the game, but a three-point attempt rimmed out. Wirtjes coolly sank four consecutive free throws in the final minute to ice the win.
Gustavus improves to 7-0 and holds first place in the MIAC. Overall, the Gusties are 9-3. They host St. Thomas on Wednesday and travel to Bethel on Saturday.
The loss drops Hamline to 4-4 in conference action and 8-5 on the season. The Pipers host Saint John’s on Wednesday and enjoy a bye on Saturday.
<strong>SAINT JOHN’S 74, CONCORDFIA 61</strong>
Aaron Burtzel posted the first recorded triple-double in school history to lead the Johnnies to a 74-61 win over the Cobbers. With the win, SJU remains one game behind league-leading Gustavus.
Burtzel posted 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds along with a 7-for-9 shooting performance to pace SJU. Aaron Barmore tallied 15 points with four assists and five rebounds. Sam Blank dropped in 17 points off the bench and Todd Herman added 10 points in a relief role. The Johnnies had hot shooting hands throughout the game, canning 56.3% of their shots, including 7-of-1 from behind the arc. Blank drilled four treys to lead SJU. The Johnnies committed but 10 turnovers on the day.
The Cobbers shot an icy 33.3% in the first half, but warmed up considerably in the second stanza, hitting 53.8%. Concordia held a 32-27 edge in rebounds, and handled the ball well, with just 12 turnovers. Darrin Olmscheid posted 17 points with nine rebounds. John Fraase and Ebo Nana-Kweson each tallied 10 points, with Fraase adding seven rebounds and three steals.
Concordia scored the game’s opening bucket. The Johnnies countered with an 8-1 run to take the lead, which they would not relinquish. An 11-3 outburst in the middle of the first half pushed the Jays’ margin to double digits, where it remained most of the rest of the day. SJU’s lead peaked at 22 before a late Concordia rally drew them within nine. Barmore and Chris Schwartz each canned a pair of free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
With the win, SJU improves to 6-1 in league games and 9-3 overall. The Johnnies play at Hamline on Wednesday and close out the week at archrival St. Thomas on Saturday.
The Cobbers are now 4-4 in MIAC play and 8-5 on the year. After a bye, Concordia returns to action Saturday, hosting Saint Mary’s.
<strong>ST. OLAF 75, BETHEL 59</strong>
The Oles used a strong second half and a balanced attack to beat the Royals 75-59. The loss was injury-depleted Bethel’s fourth consecutive MIAC defeat.
Bethel struggled from the field, shooting 32.8% for the game and a chilly 25.9% in the second half. They were a cold 33.3% from three-point range and only 63.3% from the charity stripe. Defensively, they forced 18 turnovers. They were led by Daniel Baah, who scored 19 points. Nate Robertson added 17 points and nine rebounds, while Rob Lang added 10 points, five rebounds and three steals.
St. Olaf shot well, converting half of their shots for the game, including 52.6% in the second half. They connected on 43.8% of their threes, and held a 37-31 edge off the glass. Four Oles reached double figures, led by Mark Torell, who posted 16. He was 8-for-9 from the free throw line and tallied four assists and a pair of steals. Bobby Fong posted a double-double, scoring 13 and grabbing 10 boards. Stu Neville nearly had a double-double, as he scored 12 points with right rebounds. Tucker Sheley added 15 points.
The Royals led through the opening minutes, but Torell drained a three to ignite an 11-3 run, vaulting the Oles to a 17-10 lead. They never yielded the lead the rest of the day. Bethel rallied to tie the game briefly midway through the first half, but St. Olaf responded with a 9-0 run and steadily pulled away throughout the remainder of the game.
St. Olaf stands 3-4 in MIAC play and 5-7 overall. On the week ahead, the Oles host Saint Mary’s before journeying to Macalester.
Bethel falls to 1-6 in conference games and 5-7 on the season. Wednesday, the Royals try to get on a winning track at Augsburg and return home for a Saturday tilt with Gustavus.
<strong>ST. THOMAS 61, CARLETON 50</strong>
The Tommies rallied from a 12-0 hole and pulled out a 61-50 win at Carleton. The win was UST’s 27th consecutive regular season win in MIAC play and their 31st in a row over MIAC opponents. That ties the MIAC record for consecutive wins versus conference foes, set by UST in 1965-67.
The Knights opened the game strong. Seth Jonker tallied seven points in the first four minutes and Jeremy Sutherland added five, giving Carleton a 12-0 lead. A trey by Scott Theisen extended the Knights’ lead to 15-1.
St. Thomas regrouped and methodically chipped away at the margin. In the final minute of the first stanza, Tyler Nicolai and Brady Ervin found all net on three-point shots to tie the game, 23-23, at the half.
UST used a 7-0 run to break a tie and take the lead for good early in the second half. That run was part of a 13-2 outburst that changed the tone and tempo of the game. The Knights battled back, closing the gap to two with 9:42 to play. St. Thomas responded with a 17-4 eruption, sparked by eight points from Nicolai, five from Ervin and four from Joe Scott.
Nicolai led all scorers with 19 points. He drained four of six three-point attempts. Scott added 14 points, with four rebounds, Ervin finished the day with eight points. UST shot a horrendous 28.6% from the floor in the first half but canned 60.8% of their second half shots. Keys to the win were a 35-24 edge in rebounds and 8-for-10 free throw shooting in the first half.
Jonker led Carleton with 13 points; he was the only Knight to reach double figures. Bryan Rosett tallied eight points and hauled in seven rebounds. Sutherland chipped in nine points with five assists. The Knights struggled from three-point land, particularly in the second half when they converted only five of 13. For the game, they shot 36.4% behind the arc.
St. Thomas, ranked #5 in the nation, improves to 6-0 in MIAC play and 10-1 on the season. They host Saint Mary’s on Monday in a makeup game that was postponed due to heavy snow in December. Following that, they travel to co-league leader Gustavus for a showdown at the top of the standings. They then return home to host archrival Saint John’s on Saturday night.
With the loss, Carleton falls to 2-5 in league play and 6-6 overall. The Knights host Macalester on Wednesday and round out the week at Augsburg.