Carleton (19-9) had defeated Hamline 71-63 n the quarterfinals and toppled St. Thomas 73-67 to reach the title game. The win over St. Thomas was the first Playoff road win in Carleton history. The fourth-seeded Knights are the lowest seed to win the Playoff title since 1989, when fourth-seeded Gustavus turned the trick. (Listen to Coach Guy Kalland discuss the season here)
The Knights will find out on Monday where and who they will play in the opening round of the NCAA tourney.
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME- CARLETON 78, GUSTAVUS 71 (Overtime)
In the first-ever overtime championship game in MIAC Playoff history, the Carleton Knights nipped Gustavus 78-71 to claim the championship before a rambunctious crowd of 2,631 at Gus Young Court on the Gustavus campus.
Like most of the season, Carleton was led by its dominant trio of Bryan Rosett, Jeremy Sutherland and Set Jonker. Sutherland scored a game-high 22 points, with six rebounds and five assists, Jonker added 18 points, seven boards and four assists, while Rosett finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. (Hear Rosett talk about the game here)
Blaise Davis added 10 points. Carleton shot 52.7% from the floor for the night, including a five-for-six showing in the overtime. They drained nine of 20 three-point attempts (45.0%0 and committed only eight turnovers.
Phil Wirtjes, who tallied 22 points with six rebounds, led Gustavus. Jesse Van Sickle closed out his college career with a 13-point outing. Seth Anderson chipped in 10 points with six assists and four rebounds. Dan Schmidtknecht dished out seven assists while posting three points and Paul Blacklock grabbed a game-high nine rebounds to go with six points. The Gusties shot 44.4% from the floor, and were 46.2% from behind the rainbow. They held a 39-32 edge off the glass and committed only four turnovers- with just one of those coming in the final 25 minutes of play.
The game was a titanic battle from the start, complete with seven lead changes and 13 ties. Carleton jumped to an early 6-2 lead behind three buckets by Jonker. It proved to be their largest lead of the stanza. The Gusties battled back to forge a 15-15 tie, behind five points from Wirtjes. Back-to-back threes by Van Sickle and Schmidtknecht lifted GAC to its largest lead of the night, 21-15. A layup by Carte Biewen followed by a short jumper by Jonker brought Carleton back to within a bucket. The teams fought to a 32-32 tie at the half.
The second half was as riveting as the first. Carleton opened the stanza with a 10-4 to take a 42-36 lead. After the Gusties cut the gap to two, Tom Sawatzke and Sutherland rippled the net for booming threes to stretch the Knights’ lead to 48-40, their largest lead of the night. Gustavus retaliated with an 11-0 run, featuring five points by Wirtjes, to regain the lead, 51-48.3 Davis fired a triple from deep to tie the game, but GAC pushed the lead to four with 3:49 to play. Rosett converted a three-point play and later added a trey to give Carleton a 63-61 lead with 1:54 showing on the clock. Blacklock tapped in a two-footer to tie the game with 0:54 to go and the defenses denied either team an open shot the rest of the way.
Carleton opened the OT with a barrage of scoring, racing to a 70-63 lead as Sutherland drove for a pair layups and Davis converted a three-point play. Gustavus fought back and drew within three but the Knights drained four free throws in the final 35 seconds to seal the win.
Gustavus ends its season with a 16-11 record. With the win, Carleton improves to 19-9.
Carleton and Gustavus advanced to the MIAC Playoff championship game with wins in a pair of dramatic games. The Knights upended regular season champ St. Thomas 73-67 while the Gusties scored with :04 to play for a 59-57 win over Augsburg.
CARLETON 73, ST. THOMAS 67
The Knights mixed aggressive, tenacious defense with sizzling shooting to claim a 73-67 upset win over the Tommies. The win sends Carleton to the MIAC Playoff title game for the first time since 2006 and only the third time in school history.
The victory snapped a 15-game playoff losing streak for Carleton, as ended UST’s 55-game home win streak over MIAC foes, as well as the Tommies’ run of six consecutive appearances in the MIAC Playoff championship game.
Carleton torched the net, shooting 64.5% from the floor in the second half and 60.0% on the night. They drained 52.9% of their shots from three-point land, including 66.7% in the second half. After horrendous free throw shooting against UST in the last meeting between the teams, the Knights sealed the win from the line, converting 66.7%, including 77.8% in the second half.
The Knight’s defense limited UST to 46.6% shooting, and rarely gave the Toms a good look or an uncontested shot. They handled the UST pressure defense well, and enjoyed an 18-12 advantage in points off turnovers. Most telling, though, they kept the Tommies from the charity stripe, allowing UST only six free throw attempts, all in the second half. (Listen to Coach Guy Kalland discuss the game here)
St. Thomas opened the game with a 7-2 run, but Carleton responded with an 11-2 run of its own to forge a 13-11 lead. A 6-2 UST spurt gave the Tommies a four-point lead but a long three by Carter Biewen ignited a game-changing 17-4 explosion by the Knights. UST’s Brady Ervin rippled the net for three before the half, but Carleton took a 30-24 lead into the break.
The Knights extended that lead to 11 early in the second half before UST erupted for an 8-0 rally, trimming the gap to three. Jeremy Sutherland drove the lane for a layup, igniting a 15-5 outburst by the Knights that gave them a 54-41 lead. The margin grew to as many as 15 later in the half, and stood at 66-51 with three minutes to play.
UST refused to fold, and exploded for 11 unanswered points over the next two minutes, pulling within four. Treys by Anders Halverson, Alex Healy and Joe Scott wrapped around a Healy layup as the Tommies charged back into the game. Another three by Scott drew the Toms to within three with 0:44 to go, but the Knights drained five of seven free throws in the final minute to seal the win. A Sutherland dunk with 0:02 to play punctuated the game, although he was cited for a technical foul for hanging onto the rim.
Sutherland finished the game with 20 points, 18 of which came in the second half. Biewen finished with 11 points, while Seth Jonker poured in 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Carleton. (Hear Jonker talk about the game here)
The Knights improve to 18-9 and head to Gustavus for the title tilt on Saturday.
Scott’s 15 points led UST. Healy and Teddy Archer each chipped in 12 points, while Tyler Nicolai finished with nine points and five assists. Ervin posted seven points, a team-leading seven rebounds, and four assists.
With the loss, UST falls to 23-3 on the year. They now await word from the selection committee to see if they receive a Pool C berth in the upcoming NCAA tourney.
GUSTAVUS 59, AUGSBURG 57
The Gusties’ Phil Wirtjes stole an in-bound pass with 0:10 to play and drove coast-to-coast for a game-winning layup, lifting GAC to a 59-57 win over the Auggies. The win sends Gustavus to the title game of the MIAC Playoffs for the 14th time, where they seek a 10th championship.
The game was tightly contested from start to finish, and neither team was able to open up a lead larger than eight points. The first half saw the lead rock back and forth, with Gustavus staking a five-point lead late in the half on a 6-0 rally. Augsburg cut that down to a single point but buckets by Paul Blacklock and James Hill followed by a three from Jesse Van Sickle lifted GAC to a 33-25 lead at the intermission
The intense battle continued in the second stanza. Augsburg was able to close within one midway through the half but four points from Tyler Grey and a booming three by Dan Schmidtknecht sparked Gustavus to a 9-2 run, opening an eight-point lead.
The Auggies chipped away at the margin and drew within one twice but were unable to take the lead. David Olson rippled the net from three-point range off a feed from Jon Cassens with 1:58 to play, tying the score at 57-57. The defenses bore down the rest of the game, setting the stage for Wirtjes’ dramatics.
All nine players seeing action for Gustavus scored, led by Grey with 11. Van Sickle finished with nine points and Blacklock and Hill posted eight. Blacklock grabbed nine rebounds. Schmidtknecht finished with seven points while dishing out six assists.
Four Auggies reached double figures as Olson, Cassens, Cory Polta and Matthew Quammen each scored 10. Polta added eight boards, while Olson and Cassens each doled out three assists.
The loss drops Augsburg to 19-8 on the season, while Gustavus improves to 16-10.
Augsburg and Carleton claimed home-court victories in Tuesday night’s quarterfinal action in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Playoffs. The Auggies downed Saint John’s 86-75, while the Knights rallied to top Hamline 71-63. The two winners advance to Thursday’s semifinals, with Augsburg traveling to Gustavus and Carleton heads to St. Thomas.
AUGSBURG 86, SAINT JOHN’S 75
The Auggies used a balanced attack to post a convincing 86-75 win over the Johnnies. Augsburg combined hot second half shooting with tenacious defense and excellent ball handling to pull away from the Johnnies.
In the second half, Augsburg shot 54.2% from the floor and a sizzling 60.0% from behind the three-point line. They committed only six turnovers on the night and had four players reach double figures. Matthew Quammen, who drained five of nine three-point attempts and finished with a season high 15 points as well as four rebounds and four assists, sparked the attack. (Listen to Quammen talk about the game here)
Joining Quammen in double figures were David Olson, Andy Grzesiak-Grimm and Jon Cassens. Olson’s 18 points led the Auggies. He added five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Grzesiak-Grimm and Cassens each tallied 13 points, with Cassens doling out six assists.
Aaron Burtzel and Sam Blank led Saint John ’s. Burtzel had game highs with 22 points and seven rebounds, and dished out four assists. (Hear Burtzel’s comments on the game here)
Blank dropped in four threes en route to an 18-point night. SJU held a 32-29 edge off the glass and committed just 10 turnovers.
A key to the outcome was three-point shooting in the second half. SJU missed ten consecutive threes before Max McHugh drained a pair in the final minute. Augsburg connected on five in a row as part of a six-for-10 second half. Both teams shot 87.5% from the charity stripe but the Auggies were 21-of-24 while SJU was 14-of-16.
The Johnnies came out strong and stormed to a 14-7 lead over the first seven minutes with Blank coming off the bench to drop in 10 points in that run. Augsburg responded with a 9-0 run, fueled by back-to-back layups by Marcus Brumm to seize an 18-16 lead. The lead seesawed back and forth before the Auggies closed the half with a 12-7 run to take a 39-34 lead into the break.
SJU trimmed the gap to three, 52-49, midway through the second half before Augsburg erupted for seven straight points, kicking off an 18-7 run that changed the tenor of the game. The Johnnies were able to trim the gap to seven with six minutes to play but a pair of free throws by Cassens and a trey by Olson squelched SJU’s rally. Augsburg would extend its lead to as many as 17 before Coach Aaron Griess sent in the reserves. (Listen to Griess discuss the game here)
With the loss, Saint John’s closes its season at 14-12.
Augsburg improves to 19-7 on the year and advances to Thursday’s semifinal game at Gustavus. The two teams tied for second place in the MIAC, but the Gusties received the second seed via the tiebreakers.
CARLETON 71, HAMLINE 63
After trailing much of the first half, the Knights rallied and claimed a 71-63 win over the visiting Pipers before over 900 at West Gym.
Carleton converted 16 Hamline turnovers into a 26-8 advantage in points off turnovers. They limited the Pipers to two-of-nine (22.2%) from behind the three-point line, while connecting on seven threes of their own.
Seth Jonker scored 26 to lead the Carleton attack. He also had seven rebounds and two steals. Bryan Rosett added 14 points with nine boards and three assists. Jeremy Sutherland tallied 13 points, with five assists and four steals.
Hamline was led by Carl Hipp, who posted 26 points while grabbing seven rebounds. He also blocked four shots. Ray Brown added nine points and six rebounds for the Pipers, while Jordan Schmidt finished with eight points and six rebounds.
The Pipers took and early 16-9 lead and maintained a single-digit lead most of the first half. Carleton close the first half with an 8-4 outburst to take a 27-26 edge into the intermission.
Sutherland opened the second half with a three-point play, padding the lead to four. Hamline responded with a 12-2 run, fueled by six points from Hipp and four from brown, to regain the lead 38-33. Carleton used a 14-4 run midway through the second stanza to charge to a 55-46 lead. Hamline cut the deficit to four later in the half, but was unable to draw closer as a layup by Jonker ignited a 5-0 run that sealed the win for the Knights.
The loss ends Hamline’s season at 15-11.
Carleton improves to 17-9 and advances to play at top seeded St. Thomas in one of Thursday’s semifinal games.