Elsewhere, Hamline and Gustavus are each one win away from locking up berths in the MIAC Playoffs. Augsburg and Saint John’s remain in the thick of the chase for second place as well as playoff berths. With two weeks of action remaining, the jostling for the final playoff spots and seeding will likely go down to the final day.
Juniors Lukas Holland of Saint Mary’s and Carl Hipp of Hamline became the most recent MIAC players to go over the 1,000-point mark for their careers.
HAMLINE 87, BETHEL 71
A monstrous game in the paint by Carl Hipp helped propel the Pipers past the Royals, leading them to an 87-71 victory. Hipp tallied 29 points, with 14 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Hipp won the battle of the big men, besting Bethel’s Nate Robertson, who finished with 19 points, eight boards and three blocks. (<a href="http://www.collegesportingnews.com/stats/writer/2009/miac/20100206Hipp.mp3" target=_blank>Listen to Hipp discuss the game and the battle in the paint here</a>)
Two of the hotter teams in the MIAC collided on Wednesday, in a battle for bragging rights on Snelling Avenue. More importantly, the matchup between Hamline and Bethel was loaded with playoff implications. Bethel, which has appeared in the past 11 MIAC Playoffs, had won five of its last six games, storming back into the thick of the playoff chase. The Pipers, who are closing in on a playoff spot, are in the midst of a battle for second place and a first-round bye.
Hamline seized control midway through the first half. With the game tied 8-8, they erupted for a 17-5 run to take a 12-point lead. Brandon Rieg capped that run with an all-net three from the left side. That margin held until the final five minutes of the stanza. Bethel, behind eight points from Daniel Baah, closed the half with a 13-5 spurt to cut the gap to 39-35.
The Pipers pulled out to a seven-point lead early in the second half only to see the Royals charge back to within a bucket. Hamline again pushed the lead to eight but Bethel chopped it down to two. The third push proved to the charmed one, as the Pipers broke the game open behind a 20-10 run, fueled by three three-pointers by Rieg. This time the undermanned Royals had no answer and Hamline wrapped up the win.
Hamline shot 73.1% from the field in the second half as they pounded the ball inside to Hipp. For the night, they connected on 56.7% of their shots while limiting Bethel to 42.4% shooting. Hamline held a 35-32 edge off the glass.
In addition to Hipp’s stellar performance, Ray Brown had a solid night for the Pipers. He tallied 15 points, with eight rebounds, six assists and a pair a steals. To the crowd’s delight, he also dropped in a thundering tomahawk dunk. Rieg finished the game with 12 points and three assists awhile Christian Taber came off the bench to add 11 points.
Baah, who tallied 17 of his team-best 21 points in the first half, led Bethel. He also grabbed nine rebounds. Robertson’s solid line was joined by joined by a 13-point outing by Chris Vavra. Only six players scored for Bethel, which is down to a 10-man rotation due to injuries.
AUGSBURG 75, GUSTAVUS 70
The Auggies, behind 17 second half points from Jon Cassens, overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to tip the Gusties 75-70.
Cassens, who was held scoreless in the first half, was one of four Auggie starters to reach double figures. David Olson led the attack, scoring 23 points, with five threes. Olson was 7-for-11 from the field. Ben Flavin added 15 points and a game-high six assists, Andy Grzesiak-Grimm tallied 10 points and had five assists. Cory Polta led all players with 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Augsburg shot 54.2% from the field for the night, including 57.1% in the second half. Gustavus, which shot 55.2% in the first half, cooled off to 37.5% in the second half. GAC held a 32-28 edge off the glass. Both teams handled the rock well, as Augsburg committed just 11 turnovers to Gustavus’ 10.
Jesse Van Sickle led Gustavus with 18 points, including four treys. He also doled out three assists. Dan Schmidtknecht added 13 points and four assists, while Paul Blacklock grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots in a relief role.
Gustavus used a 21-11 run midway through the first half to take a 35-24 lead. Van Sickle canned four three-pointers during the run. The Gusties took a 43-35 lead into the intermission.
Augsburg came out energized in the second half. They erupted for a 12-0 outburst early in the second half to tie the game at 47; Olson rippled the net with a pair of treys in the run. The Auggies later used an 8-0 spurt to pull out to a 67-61 lead. Gustavus cut the lead to three with 0:55 remaining but Olson came up with a big blocked shot at the 0:16 mark. The Auggies were four-for-four from the charity stripe in the final 10 seconds to seal the win.
<strong>CARLETON 76, ST. OLAF 50
The Knights dominated from start to finish, thumping the Oles 76-50 to retain possession of the fabled Goat Trophy. The goat has returns to the Carleton trophy case for the fifth consecutive year and 20th of the past 21.
Carleton torched the night in the opening stanza, hitting 65.8% of its shots in the half; they shot 58.2% for the night. Midway through the first half, St. Olaf’s Stu Neville hit a jumper to pull the Oles within three, 23-20. Bryan Rosett went on a one-man binge, scoring seven points in just over a minute, giving the Knights a 30-20 edge. Rosett’s points were the start of a 21-2 run that closed the first half and gave Carleton a comfortable 44-22 cushion.
St. Olaf was able to close the gap to 20 before the Knights extended it to as many as 30 as they cruised through the second half to the win.
Seth Jonker paced Carleton with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jeremy Sutherland added 16 points and four rebounds. Rosett finished with 16 points, five boards and four assists. Carleton enjoyed a 38-21 edge off the glass.
Neville led St. Olaf with 13 points and three assists. Alfred Jaryan chipped in 10 points and four assists off the bench. Tucker Sheley and Nate Krosschell each grabbed four rebounds to lead St. Olaf.
<strong>HAMLINE 86, CONCORDIA 83
Carl Hipp scored five of his 22 points in the final two minutes, offsetting a pair of Cobber threes as the Pipers escaped with an 86-83 win in a thrilling game. The loss was Concordia’s eighth in a row.
Karl Olson and Darrin Olmscheid each netted a three for the Cobbers in the final 23 seconds, keeping fans on the edge of their seats. Clutch free throw shooting by Ray Brown and Nick Carroll combined with Hipp’s strong finish proved too much for Concordia to overcome.
The game started out looking like a potential Cobber blow out win, as they jumped to a 12-5 lead and quickly extended that to a dozen, 26-14, midway through the first half. The Pipers were able to trim the gap to three, but Concordia took a 41-34 edge into the locker room.
Concordia’s lead reached nine early in the second half on a jumper by Olmscheid. Hamline erupted for a 20-4 run that changed the course of the game. Brown was the catalyst of that run, pouring in eight points and Hamline held a 66-59 lead.
That lead evaporated over the next 1:30 as the Cobbers drained four consecutive free throws, which Olson followed with a bucket and a three to stake the Cobbers to a 69-66 lead.
Jordan Schmidt tied the game with a long three for Hamline but Olson drained a bucket and Ebo Nana-Kweson rippled the net for three, giving Concordia a 74-69 lead. Dour free throws by Hipp surrounded buckets by Noah Aguirre and Schmidt as the Pipers rallied to tie the game. Hipp proceeded to hit a jumper and followed with a traditional three-point play. Olson and Olmscheid hit gutsy threes in the final minute, but it was not enough to offset Hipp’s pay.
Brown led all scorers with 25 points. He added 10 rebounds and two assists. Hipp finished with 22 points, six rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocked shots. Schmidt posted 14 points to go with four assists, while Christian Taber dropped in 10 points off the bench.
Olmscheid score 24 to lead Concordia. He added six rebounds and four assists. Olson finished with 17 points and five assists, while Nan-Kweson and Andrew Martinson each scored 11 points. Martinson also dished out five assists.
<strong>SAINT JOHN’S 81, MACALESTER 63
The Johnnies broke the game open in the opening minutes of the second half, using a 20-8 run to propel them to an 81-63 win over the Scots.
Mac opened the game with a 19-10 run, and seemed to be primed for their first MIAC win in the Leonard Center. However, SJU battled back over the final 134 minutes of the opening stanzas to tie the game, 40-40, at the break.
The game remained close over the first three minutes of the second half and was knotted at 48-48 at the 16:41 mark. Saint John’s exploded for 12 unanswered points, fueled by seven points from Andy Burns. The margin grew 20 points at 71-51 with six minutes remaining and the Jays coasted the rest of the way.
Burns and Todd Herman led the way for SJU, each scoring a game-high 17 points. Nermin Hujdurpvoc and Sam Blank each added 12 points. The Johnnies committed only eight turnovers on the night.
Colin Jarvis came off the bench to net 14 points, leading Macalester. Kyle Hamblett added 13 points. Pierce Peters scored 11, with nine rebounds and four assists, while Andy Bowman chipped in 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.
<strong>ST. THOMAS 82, SAINT MARY’S 70
The Tommies canned 20 of 22 free throws to pull away from the Cardinals for an 82-70 win; it was the 45th consecutive time UST has defeated SMU.
The game was Steve Fritz’s 800th game as head coach at St. Thomas. With the win, his career record improves to 559-241.
Saint Mary’s Lukas Holland wasted little time joining the school’s 1,000-point club. He found nothing but net on his first shot of the night for the landmark. He finished the game with eight points. He also dished out four assists and grabbed five rebounds and notched a pair of steals.
The Tommies broke a 6-6 tie with a 17-4 run. Alex Healy fueled that run with seven points. He finished the night with a team-best 21 points, including 13-of-13 from the charity stripe.
St. Thomas pushed the lead to 21 at the half and kept the lead in the teens until the final five minutes when SMU pulled within eight at one point. UST closed the game by making 14 of 16 free throws to seal the win.
Healy added five assists, four steals and four rebounds. Tyler Nicolai tallied 15 points with four assists. He drained three three-pointers. Teddy Archer added 13 points and six rebounds, while Sam Eicher chipped in 10 points.
Will Wright led SMU with a game-high 26 points. He tallied five rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals. Chris Palmer chipped in 13 points with four rebounds.
CARLETON 80, SAINT MARY’S 60
The Knights, behind a career game from Jeremy Sutherland, posted their sixth consecutive win, downing the Cardinals 80-60.
Sutherland finished the game with 30 points, in 29 minutes. He was 11-of-15 from the field, including three treys. He added three rebounds, three steals and two assists. He staked the Knights to a 3-0 lead and Carleton never relinquished the lead.
Carleton used a 9-0 run midway through the first half to extend their lead to 29-14. They opened the second half with a 16-2 run that sealed the outcome. From there, they coasted to the win.
Seth Jonker had a solid game for the Knights, as he tallied 15 points, with six rebounds and three assists. Scott Theisen chipped in 12 points off the bench. Bryan Rosett added eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and four points.
Carleton shot 51.7% for the game, including 41.7% from three-point land. They committed only seven turnovers.
Will Wright led Saint Mary’s with 20 points and four rebounds. Chris Palmer posted a double-double, scoring 14 with 11 boards. The Cards held a 35-33 edge in rebounding and committed only 10 turnovers but were hurt by icy shooting from behind the arc. SMU was just 1-of-14 (7.1%) from long range.
Saint Mary’s is off until February 10, when they host Hamline. Concordia visits SMU on Saturday. The Cardinals are 5-11 in MIAC play and 7-14 overall.
<strong>CONCORDIA 76, AUGSBURG 63
The Cobbers led from wire to wire behind a 53.1% shooting effort as they tripped up the Auggies 76-63. The win snaps an eight-game losing skein for Concordia.
Concordia jumped out to an early 13-7 lead. The teams took turns trading spurts as the Auggies would cut the lead down to one or two and then the Cobbers would build it back up to six or seven. That continued into the second half. The Cobbers never held a lead of more than seven points until the final eight minutes of play.
The Cobbers connected on five of their final six free throws and 11 of their last 16 shots from the charity stripe to seal the win. For the game Concordia was 19-for-29 (65.5%) from the line.
Augsburg shot just 18.2% from three-point range. It was the third time this season that they shot less than 20% from behind the rainbow and the Auggies have lost all three of those games.
David Olson continued his hot shooting, scoring 19 to lead Augsburg. Jon Cassens added 12 points. They each had three assists. Andy Grzesiak-Grimm pulled down seven rebounds to go with seven points.
John Fraase posted another double-double for the Cobbers. He scored 23 while snagging 10 rebounds. Ebo-Nan-Kweson added 11 points, while Darrin Olmscheid and Karl Olson each chipped in 10.
<strong>GUSTAVUS 63, MACALESTER 44
The Gusties built a big first half lead and held off the Scots en route to a 63-44 win.
A key to the win was turnovers, as Gustavus committed only six miscues while forcing 24 Mac turnovers.
It was a game of halves, as Gustavus shot 41.2% in the first half while limiting Mac to 26.1%. In the second half, the roles were reverse as the Scots canned 62.5% of their shots to GAC’s 33.3%. The Gusties built a 33-17 lead by the intermission, and never looked back.
Gustavus took control from the opening tip, taking an early 11-3 lead. Jesse Van Sickle sizzled in the first half, going 5-for-7 from the floor with 11 points. The Gusties forced 14 turnovers while making eight steals.
Macalester used a layup by Kyle Hamblett to spark a 16-2 run early in the second half to cut the gap to four. Gustavus responded with a 10-2 run that pushed the lead to 12, and they kept the Scots at bay the rest of the way.
Sam Paulson scored 15 points to lead GAC. He added six rebounds. Ryan McPartland posted a double-double, with 10 points and 10 boards. Van Sickle finished the day with 13 points. Dan Schmidtknecht doled out eight assists.
For Macalester, Pierce Peters led the attack, scoring 13 points. Hamblett finished the game with 11 points. Andy Bowman grabbed six rebounds.
<strong>SAINT JOHN’S 84, ST. OLAF 61
Aaron Burtzel posted his second triple-double of the season to lead the Johnnies to an 84-61 win over the Oles. Burtzel is the only player is school history to post a triple-double.
He finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
SJU broke open a close game with a 13-0 run midway through the first half. They held a 39-27 lead at the break and opened the second half with a 13-5 spurt to put the game out of reach.
The Johnnies won the game by torching the net from three-point range. SJU connected on 63.2% (12-of-19) from behind the arc. They held St Olaf to 28.6% three-point shooting (6-of-21). The Johnnies dominated the boards with a 38-26 edge in rebounds.
Sam Blank led all scorers, dropping in 20 points off the SJU bench. He was four-for-six from three-point range. Andrew Latzke chipped in 15 points while Andy Burns and Aaron Barmore each tallied 10. Burns dished out five assists and posted three steals.
For St. Olaf, Mark Torell was high man with 17 points. Stu Neville added 12 points with nine rebounds. Alfred Jaryan and Bobby Fong each chipped in nine points.
AUGSBURG 71, MACALESTER 68
The Auggies broke to a big early lead, and then hung on down the stretch to secure a 71-68 win over the Scots. The win moves Augsburg into a tie for fourth place.
The backcourt tandem of Jon Cassens and David Olson paced the Auggie attack. Cassens dropped in 18 points and doled out eight assists. He converted seven of his 11 shots on the day. Olson added 16 points on five-for-nine shooting.
Augsburg jumped out to an 18-5 lead over the opening nine minutes of action and seemed poised to turn the game into a rout. The Scots countered with a 17-5 rally, trimming the gap to one. Cassens put in eight points as part of a 15-7 the Auggies used to close the first half and take a 39-28 lead into the break.
The second half was tightly contested. Macalester was able to keep the score within four for the final five minutes of action. Pierce Peters drained a three-pointer with 0:54 showing on the clock, drawing the Scots within a point, 69-68. A key offensive rebound by Andy Grzesiak-Grimm led to Olson being fouled. He icily drained both free throws to give the Auggies a 71-68 lead. Brett Sorenson claimed a steal with five seconds remaining to seal the win for the Auggies.
Peters led Macalester with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He also doled out four assists. Andy Bowman chipped in 11 points, while Colin Keeley added eight points and nine rebounds.
Augsburg improves to 10-6 in conference play and 15-6 overall. The Auggies tangle with two playoff contenders in the coming week as they host Saint John’s on Wednesday before traveling to Carleton on Saturday.
Macalester is now 0-17 in MIAC play and 2-20 overall. The Scots seek that elusive first win on Wednesday, hosting Concordia. They close out the week at St. Olaf on Saturday.
<strong>BETHEL 86, ST. OLAF 72
The Royals used a balanced attack and steady shooting to thump the Oles 86-72 and keep their playoff chances alive. The loss was a serious, but not fatal, blow to the Oles playoff hopes.
Bethel drained 54.5% of its three-point shots, part of a 51.6% shooting effort. They out-rebounded St. Olaf 37-26 and held the Oles to just 30.4% shooting behind the arc.
Bethel never trailed, and used a 13-2 run midway through the first half to break to a double-digit lead. Daniel Baah scored seven points in that outburst. The lead reached its first half peak of 18 on a Greg Meyer three-pointer. The Oles closed the half with an 11-6 run to close the gap to 46-33.
A 6-0 run in the opening moments of the second half pulled St. Olaf within nine, but responded with a 6-0 run of its own to put the lead back into double figures, where it remained the rest of the day.
Bobby Fong, who tallied 24 points in the losing effort, led St. Olaf. He added nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Nate Krosschell posted 20 points, with seven boards.
Four Royals reached double figures, led by Rob Lang with 18. He also had three steals, three assists and four rebounds. Meyer and Nate Robertson each added 16 points. Robertson pulled down 11 rebounds, with two assists and a pair of steals, while Meyer chipped in six rebounds and three assists. Chris Vavra tallied 115 points, and Baah ended up with nine.
The Oles fall to 6-10 in MIAC play and 8-13 on the season. They are at home in the coming week, hosting Gustavus and Macalester.
Bethel is now 7-9 in league action and 11-10 on the year. The Royals host St. Thomas on Wednesday before traveling to Gustavus for a Saturday showdown.
<strong>CONCORDIA 63, SAINT JOHN’S 60
Behind a balanced attack, the Cobbers led most of the day but were never able to pull away from the Johnnies. They hung on for a 63-60 home win. The loss eliminated SJU from the title chase.
Four starters reached double figures for Concordia, which shot 47.2% from the floor. They were led by a strong outing by John Fraase, who tallied 18 points, with 13 rebounds and six assists. Ebo Nana-Kweson chipped in 15 points and six boards. Darrin Olmscheid and Karl Olson each added 11 points, with Olmscheid grabbing six boards.
Todd Herman led the Johnnies with 20 points. He added four rebounds. Aaron Burtzel posted 16 points, with nine rebounds and four assists. Aaron Barmore chipped in 10 points.
Concordia opened the game with a 13-2 run. SJU regrouped and chipped away at the lead before taking a 17-15 lead on a pair of free throws by Patrick Bowlin. The SJU lead grew to four on a layup by Herman, but an Olmscheid triple sent the teams into the intermission knotted 27-27.
The Cobbers pulled out to a six point lead early in the second half. They were unable to put the Johnnies away, but clung to a small lead the remainder of the game. Saint John’s pulled within a bucket with 0:41 to play but could not draw closer.
Concordia is now 6-11 in MIAC play and 7-14 overall. They are on the road twice in the coming week, playing at Macalester and Saint Mary’s.
Saint John’s falls to 10-6 in league action and 13-8 on the year. The Johnnies travel to Augsburg on Wednesday before hosting St. Thomas on Saturday.
<strong>HAMLINE 66, GUSTAVUS 63
The Pipers, behind a solid performance by Carl Hipp, eked out a thrilling 66-63 win over the Gusties in a crucial showdown in the chase for second place – and a first-round bye in the MIAC Playoffs.
Hipp scored 20 points in the second half, converting seven of eight shots. He tallied Hamline’s final six points, going four-for-five from the charity line in the final minutes to seal the win. Hipp finished the day with a game-high 29 points. He led all players with 12 rebounds. Hipp joined Hamline’s 1000-point club on a free throw late in the game.
Gustavus led most of the first half, despite shooting 32.1% from the field. They took their largest lead of the game, 26-19, on a pair of free throws by Seth Anderson. The Pipers closed the half with an 8-2 run, fueled by six points from Ray Brown, to close the gap to one, 30-29.
The Gusties score the first four points of the second half before a pair of Hipp jumpers ignited an 11-0 outburst by the Pipers, giving them a 40-34 lead. Gustavus responded with a booming three by Phil Wirtjes and later tied the game, 44-44.
Hamline regained the lead and pushed it to five on a Hipp bucket, but Gustavus retaliated with a 7-1 run, behind five points from James Hill, to gain a 57-56 lead. Hill later tied the game again on a long three, 60-60, with 2:22 to play. Hipp took control of the remainder of the game, lifting the Pipers to the win.
In addition to Hipp’s stellar play, the Pipers received a 20-point game from Brown. He added five rebounds and four blocked shots. Hamline shot 53.2% from the floor,
The Gusties canned seven of 10 three-pointers, including three by Hill. However, they shot 40.4% from the floor. GAC committed a mere seven turnovers. Wirtjes led the offense, scoring 12 points, with four assists and three steals. Hill finished the day with 11 points.
Despite the loss, Gustavus remains in second place, one-half game ahead of Hamline. The Gusties, who are 13-8 overall and 11-5 in MIAC play, travel to St. Olaf on Wednesday before returning home to tangle with Bethel on Saturday.
The win was Hamline’s third in a row and sixth in their last seven games. They improve to 11-6 in conference action and 15-7 on the year. The Pipers travel to Saint Mary’s on Wednesday before enjoying a bye over the upcoming weekend.
<strong>ST. THOMAS 58, CARLETON 55
The fifth-ranked Tommies nailed down their record-tying fifth consecutive MIAC title with a come-from-behind 58-55 win over the Knights. It was UST’s eighth consecutive win and the loss snapped a six game Carleton winning skein.
Key to the outcome was Carleton’s woes at the free throw line. The Knights missed five charity tosses in the final 15 seconds of play and connected on just 9-of-24 free throws on the day.
Carleton jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the opening minutes of play and stretched that margin to 12 (34-22) late in the first half. UST closed the half with a 6-0 run, cutting the gap to 34-28.
The Knights extended that lead to seven early in the second half. Bucket by Teddy Archer and a conventional three-point play and a three-point bucket by Tyler Nicolai lifted UST to its first lead of the day, 43-42. They later stretched that lead to five on a driving layup by Joe Scott, but the Knights battled back.
Carleton tied the game 5-55 on a triple by Blaise Davis with 2:07 to play. That would prove to be the Knights’ final points, as they were unable to find the hoop and had troubles from the line. UST dint fare much better, but Archer hit a free throw with 1:48 to play and Nicolai drained a pair of charity shots with 0:02 left to wrap up the win and conference title.
The Tommies, who were a bone-chilling 2-for-13 (15.4%) from three-point range, shot 42.3% from the floor. They committed just 10 turnovers. UST was led by Alex Healy, who put in 13 points. He added three assists, a steal and four rebounds. Nicolai ended up with 10 points, while Brady Ervin had a team-leading five rebounds.
Jeremy Sutherland led Carleton with 16 points, five assists and seven boards. Seth Jonker added 11 points and six rebounds, while Bryan Rosett chipped in seven points and eight rebounds. Davis doled out five assists while scoring five points.
Carleton is now 9-8 and holding down sixth place in the MIAC. Overall, they are 13-9. After a bye on Wednesday, the Knights return to action, hosting Augsburg in as Saturday tilt with huge playoff implications.
St. Thomas is now 15-1 in MIAC play and 19-2 on the year. A pair of road tests loom in the upcoming week as they travel to Bethel on Wednesday and arch-rival Saint John’s on Saturday.