St. Thomas closed the season with a 19-1 MIAC ledger. It was just the fourth time a team has won 19 or more games since the conference went to the 20-game schedule.
ST. THOMAS 75, GUSTAVUS 51</strong>
The Tommies combined hot shooting with suffocating defense, thwarting the Gusties 75-51 to avenge their lone MIAC loss. The win was USTís 11th in a row and extends their home winning streak against MIAC foes to 55.
UST shot 57.4% from the field en route to the win. They hit 59.33% of their shots in the first half and were five-for-eight (62.5%) from behind the arc in the opening stanza. They did most of their damage inside, outscoring Gustavus 40-10 in the paint. UST converted 14 GAC turnovers into 17 points, while the Gusties scored 10 points off 10 Tommie miscues.
UST opened the game with a 17-8 run, connecting on seven of their first nine shots. Gustavus countered with a 7-0 spurt highlighted by a three by Dan Schmidtknecht, trimming the gap to 17-15. However, Tommy Hannonís traditional three-point play ignited a 9-0 run that gave UST breathing room. St. Thomas took a 39-28 lead into the half.
The pressure defense of St. Thomas took its toll on GAC in the second half, forcing three turnovers in the first two minutes as the Toms opened the half with a 12-2 run. Sam Eicher scored six points in that outburst. The Tommies used an 11-2 later in the half to push the margin to 24 and they coasted the rest of the way.
Eicher and fellow senior Joe Scott led the Tommies offense, scoring 14 points each. Alex Healy added nine points, six rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. Tyler Nicolai dropped in nine points, along with four assists. Hannon finished with eight points and three boards.
For Gustavus, Ryan McPartland led the way, scoring 10 points, with four rebounds. Phil Wirtjes added eight points and four rebounds, while Paul Blacklock chipped in six points and four boards. Jesse Van Sickle tallied seven points.
<strong>SAINT JOHNíS 65, HAMLINE 62 </strong>
The Johnnies squandered a 15-point lead but rallied to tip the Pipers 65-62 in a game that was ďmust winĒ for both teamsí hopes of a home playoff game.
Hamline opened the game with a 7-0 run but SJU countered with an 18-2 outburst to take control of the game. SJU spread the ball around during that run, with six different players contributing to it. From there, the Johnnies methodically extended the lead to as many as 14 before taking a 37-25 lead into the break.
SJU opened the second half with a 10-5 run, stretching the lead to 15 and seemed poised to chalk up a lopsided win. Hamline refused to fold, though and retaliated with a 14-4 run, sparked by five points each from Dan Andersen and Noah Aguirre. SJU pushed the lead back to 11, but the Pipers rallied behind Aguirre for a 13-0 run to claim the lead. Aguirre tallied nine points in that run, including a trey to cap the rally.
Aaron Burtzel stemmed the Hamline rally with a bucket in the paint to tie the game. Sam Blank followed with a jumper, restoring the Johnnie lead. SJU outscored Hamline 8-2 over the final three minutes to claim the win.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, with SJU connecting only 34.3% and Hamline 37.0%. But they warmed up in the second, as Hamline hit 48.3% while the Johnnies hit 50.0%.
Burtzel posted his 11th double-double of the season, scoring 14, with 13 rebounds. He also dished out six assists. Todd Herman added 13 points and three blocked shots. Aaron Barmore and Patrick Bowlin each chipped in 10 points, while Andy Burns dished out four assists, with five rebounds and two steals.
Aguirre led Hamline with 16 points. Carl Hipp posted a double-double, scoring 14 with 11 rebounds. Andersen posted his first collegiate double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds to go with his 11 points. Jordan Schmidt chipped in 12 points, with three assists and a pair of steals.
<strong>AUGSBURG 81, BETHEL 56 </strong>
The Auggies continued their quest for second place in the MIAC, raining 210 three-pointers en route to an 81-56 win over the Royals. The win helped them inch closer to securing at least a home playoff game. It was their 17th win, the first time in a decade they have reached that level.
Three players reached double figures for the Auggies, led by Jon Cassens. He tallied 19 with five assists. David Olson added 14 points, three rebounds and two steals. Cory Polta posted the first double-double of his career, scoring 11 points with 13 rebounds.
Nate Robertson had a strong night for the Royals, scoring 14 with 10 rebounds. Rob Lang added 10 points. Bethel struggled from the floor, shooting just 34.4% on the night.
Bethel score first on a jumper by Daniel Baah but the Auggies responded with six quick points. Bethel forged a 6-6 tie but Augsburg erupted for a 13-3 run, sparked by back-to-back threes by Ben Flavin. The Royals battled hard the rest of the first half, keeping the Auggie lead under 10 and pulling within one late in the half before Augsburg pulled out to a 33-29 lead at the half.
The Auggies opened the second half with a 9-2 run, and added a 10-0 run midway through the second half to put the game out of reach.
<strong>CARLETON 77, MACALESTER 55</strong>
The Knights won for the eighth time in their past nine games, rolling past the Scots 77-55. The win moves Carleton closer to a top-four finish and keeps the door open for a second place finish.
The loss was Macís 48th consecutive MIAC loss, as they ended 2009-10 with a 0-20 record in conference play. The Scots were 2-23 overall.
Carleton sizzled the net, canning 58.3% of its shots on the night, including a 59.1% first half. They dominated the boards, outrebounding Mac 32-26. They poured 11 threes through the hoop.
The first 13 minutes were a tight battle and the game was tied 18-18 with 6:43 to go in the first half. The Knights erupted for a 16-4 run down the stretch to take a 34-22 lead into the break. They extended that lead to 20 in the early part of the second half and sailed to the win.
Jeremy Sutherland posted a double-double, scoring 22 points while dishing out 10 assists to lead Carleton. Seth Jonker added 15 points, with six rebounds and four steals. Blaise Davis chipped in 10 points with four assists.
Kyle Hamblett led Macalester with 13 points and four rebounds. Pierce Peters added 10 points, while Jerry Kraus grabbed a team-best five rebounds.
<strong>SAINT MARYíS 77, ST. OLAF 64</strong>
Behind a career-high 32 points from Lukas Holland, the Cardinals pulled away from the Oles and wrapped up a 77-64 victory. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak by St. Olaf.
Holland scored 18 points in the first half. He hit 12 of 15 from the field, and was four for six from behind the rainbow. He also had six rebounds and four assists to spark SMU. Will Wright added 17 points with five rebounds and Chris Palmer chipped in 12 points, with 12 boards and a pair of assists.
SMU shot 53.7% for the night, including 55.2% in the second half. They held a 39-34 edge off the glass and committed just 10 turnovers.
For the Oles, Nate Krosschell led the attack, scoring 18 with three rebounds. Mark Torell added 14 points, while Alfred Jaryan chipped in 11 points, with two steals and a pair of assists. The Oles struggled, shooting only 37.5% for the game and were six of 22 (27.3%) from three-point range.
AUGSBURG 76, SAINT MARYíS 72 </strong>
The Auggies sewed up a tie for second place and a home playoff game by holding off the Cardinals 76-72. With the win, Augsburg has improved its record in each of the past four seasons.
The loss marred a stellar night by SMUís W ill Wright, who poured in 30 points, with four rebounds and four assists. Wright was perfect in seven attempts from the charity stripe.
Chris Palmer closed out a strong rookie season with yet another double-double, scoring 10 points while grabbing 15 rebounds. Thomas Sims added nine points and Gary Seifert tallied eight. SMU committed just nine turnovers, and held a 37-31 edge off the glass. Those were mitigated by cold (38.1%) shooting. The Cardinals were a frosty 30.0% in the opening stanza.
David Olson, who put up 17 points with six rebounds, led Augsburg. Cory Polta added 14 points and five boards, while Matthew Quammen came off the bench to chip in 13. Ben Flavin tallied nine points with four assists and Jon Cassens added eight points while doling out four assists. Augsburg shot 56% in each half and was 56.3% on the night.
SMU led once, midway through the first half. Augsburg took an early 10-4 lead but the Cards erased that with a 7-0 run. Augsburg countered with an 11-2 rally, and seemed poised to break the game open. SMU took a time out and regrouped, firing off six straight points. The Auggies held onto a 30-28 lead at the half.
The second half was a repeating cycle of Augsburg pulling out to a comfortable lead only to have SMU trim that down to a bucket. The last time, the Auggies pulled out to an 11-point lead, using an 11-2 run that was fueled by five points from Quammen. Augsburg sealed the win by draining nine of 12 free throws in the final minute.
With the win, Augsburg improves to 13-7 in MIAC play and 18-7 overall. The Auggies finished tied for second place in the MIAC with Gustavus. The Auggies are the third seed in the MIAC Playoffs and will host the sixth seed, Saint Johnís, on Tuesday.
Saint Maryís closes its campaign with a 7-13 MIAC mark and 9-16 overall, a three-win improvement over 2008-09. SMU will return its entire roster in 2010-11, as they have no seniors.
ST. THOMAS 80. HAMLINE 69 </strong>
The Tommies tuned up for the upcoming playoffs by stymieing the Pipers en route to an 80-69 win. The loss dropped Hamline to the sixth seed in the playoffs. The win is USTís 12th in a row.
UST got successive threes from Alex Healy, Tyler Nicolai, Joe Scott and Peter Leslie as they erupted for a 14-0 run early in the game to take a 20-8 lead. Hamline pulled back within four, but UST extended the lead back to double digits on an all-net three by Healy and took a 46-33 lead into the half. Both teams shot over 55% in the half.
Both offenses cooled in the second half, which was considerably more physical. UST shot 38.1% in the second stanza, while Hamline was only able to connect on 37.0% of its shots. Both squads were whistled for 14 second half fouls.UST pushed the lead to as many as 14. Hamline was able to trim the gap to eight once, but could draw no closer.
For the game, Hamline dominated the boards, holding a 39-25 edge. However, UST committed just nine turnovers while forcing 18 by the Pipers.
Healy led all scorers with 21 points. He added three rebounds, two steals and a pair of assists. Scott and Nicolai each posted 13 points for the Tommies. Teddy Archer added eight points, four rebounds and three assists. Brady Ervin led UST of the glass with six rebounds; he also scored six points and dished out three assists.
Carl Hipp posted a double-double to lead the Pipers. He scored 20 and snagged 14 rebounds. Hipp was 10-for-14 from the charity stripe. Ray Brown added 15 points and six rebounds, but committed five turnovers. Dan Andersen chipped in 10 points, with two rebounds and two steals.
UST concludes the regular season with a 19-1 MIAC record and is 23-2 overall. The Tommies will host a semifinal game in the MIAC Playoffs on Thursday.
Hamline falls to 11-9 and a tie for fifth place in the MIAC. Overall, the Pipers are 15-10. They travel to Carleton in one of Tuesdayís MIAC Playoff quarterfinal games.
<strong>GUSTAVUS 79, SAINT JOHNíS 74</strong>
The Gusties wrapped up a tie for second place and secured the second seed in the MIAC Playoffs with a 79-74 win over the Johnnies. The Gusties drained 13 of 14 free throws down the stretch to squelch an SJU rally.
Gustavus led most of the game. They took an early 12-5 lead but SJU countered with a 9-0 run in which Todd Herman tallied the final six points, to briefly take the lead, 14-12. The Gusties responded with a 9-0 rally of their own to reclaim the lead. GAC took a 36-28 lead into the intermission.
That lead grew to as many as 19 by the midpoint of the second half, to the delight of the Gusties fans. However, a pair of free throws by Aaron Burtzel kicked off a 21-8 Johnnie run that trimmed the GAC lead to 66-60 with 2:39 remaining. SJU continued to chip away at the lead, and pulled within a point, 75-74, on a triple by Andy Burns with 0:25 on the clock. Gustavusí steady shooting from the line proved to be the difference.
Nermin Hujdurovic came off the bench for SJU and scored 19 points to lead all scorers. He was perfect in nine tries from the free throw line and grabbed three boards. Burns added 18 points with three rebounds and three assists. Herman finished with 12 points and two steals, while Burtzel tallied nine points, five rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.
For Gustavus, Sam Paulson led the way with 13 points and seven rebounds. Ryan McPartland posted a double-double, scoring 11 to go with 10 boards. Jesse Van Sickle posted 14 points and Tyler Grey added 12.
Saint Johnís finishes the regular season 11-9, tied for fifth. They are the sixth seed in the MIAC Playoffs and travel to Carleton for Tuesdayís quarterfinal action. Overall, the Johnnies are 14-11.
Gustavus concludes its regular season 13-7 in league play and tied for second place. Overall, they are 15-10. GAC will host a semifinal game in the MIAC Playoffs on Thursday.
<strong>CARLETON 72, BETHEL 67 </strong>
The Knights used a strong second half to eke out a 72-67 win over the Royals in BUís season finale. The win was Carletonís ninth in the last 10 games and gave them sole possession of fourth place.
The game was an epic battle, featuring 15 lead changes and 13 ties. Carletonís largest lead was six near the end of the game, while Bethel led by as many as four in the first half. Bethel held a slight edge in shooting, canning 53.7% of its shots to 48.1% for Carleton. The Royals had a 30-27 edge off the glass, but committed 16 turnovers to the Knightsí 13. Carleton won the game behind the arc, as they drained 10 of 17 from three-point land while BU was only two of 10.
Four starters reached double figures for Carleton. They were led by Bryan Rosettís double-double. He scored 20 and had 10 rebounds. Rosett added four assists Jeremy Sutherland added 18 points and seven assists. He dropped in four treys. Carter Biewen and Blaise Davis added 13 and 12 points, respectively. They each tallied three three-pointers. Biewen also had six rebounds.
Daniel Baah led Bethel with 17 points. Nate Robertson closed out his career with a final double-double, scoring 11 with 13 boards. He dished out five assists as well. Zach Hurd finished with 11 points and Chris Vavra ended his college career with a nine-point effort.
Carleton ends the regular season with a 12-8 MIAC record and is 16-9 overall. They host Hamline on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the MIAC Playoffs.
Bethel closes its campaign 11-14 overall and 7-13 in league action.
<strong>CONCORDIA 72, ST. OLAF 68</strong>
The Cobbers used a steady attack to offset a 37-point performance by Mark Torell as they nipped the Oles 72-68 in the season finale for both teams.
Concordia shot 53.2% for the game, and was 54.5% in the second half and 52.0% in the first. In contrast, the Oles shot 37.9% n the day, including 32.0% in the first half. The Cobbers out-rebounded St. Olaf 36-29, but committed six more turnovers (14-8) to keep the game close.
John Fraase posted a double-double to pace the Concordia attack. He had 16 points with 15 rebounds and added seven assists. Darrin Olmscheid also scored 16, with seven rebounds and three assists. Aaron Lindahl chipped in 10 points off the bench.
Torell poured in 27 points on 13-of-21 shooting; he had five three-pointers. He was the lone Ole to reach double figures.
Concordia secured sole possession of seventh place with a 9-11 MIAC record. The Cobbs were 13-12 overall.
St. Olaf closes the year 10-15 overall. Their 8-12 MIAC record is good for eighth place
<pre><strong>School MIAC Overall</strong>
St. Thomas 19-1 23-2
Gustavus 13-7 15-10
Augsburg 13-7 18-7
Carleton 12-8 16-9
Hamline 11-9 15-10
Saint Johnís 11-9 14-11
Concordia 9-11 13-12
St. Olaf 8-12 10-15
Bethel 7-13 11-14
Saint Maryís 7-13 9-16
Macalester 0-20 2-23</pre>
<strong>2009-10 MIAC Menís Basketball Playoffs</strong>
Tuesday, February 23
#6 Saint John's at #3 Augsburg, 7:30 p.m.
#5 Hamline at #4 Carleton, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 25
Highest Remaining Seed at #2 Gustavus, 7:30 p.m.
Lowest Remaining Seed at #1 St. Thomas, 7:45 p.m. (at Concordia-St. Paul)
Saturday, February 27
Semifinal winners at Highest Remaining Seed, 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m.