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MIAC Men's Basketball Week 10: A Week of History
by Rich Mies, CSN Mapping the MIAC Columnist
The final week of the MIAC regular season was filled with history. St. Thomas became the second team to go unbeaten through league play since the MIAC expanded to a 20-game season in 1983. Carleton’s Zach Johnson became the first MIAC player in a decade to pass the 2,000-career point barrier. Tony Thrasher ended his career as the seventh-leading scorer in Hamline’s history, and Tim Madson took over fourth place among Bethel’s all-time scoring leaders. John Fraase broke the school record for rebounds in a game and became the first Concordia player to score more than 30 points with over 20 rebounds in a game as Rich Glass earned the 500th win of his coaching career. Fraase also added the school’s single season rebounding record to his resume.
A red-hot finish enabled Bethel to move into second place and the #2 seed in the upcoming MIAC Playoffs. Saint John’s earned the #3 seed, sharing third place with Augsburg (#4) and Carleton (#5). Gustavus will be the sixth seed. Quarterfinal action on Monday will send Gustavus to Saint John’s and Carleton to Augsburg, with St. Thomas and Bethel hosting the winners of Monday’s game in Wednesday’s semifinals. The MIAC Playoff championship game is slated for Saturday, Feb. 28 at the higher seeded team.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
The Tommies closed out a perfect regular season by beating Saint John’s (82-47) and Hamline (71-49).
Wednesday, UST’s students organized a “white out”, encouraging fellow students to wear white to the game with Saint John’s in hopes of inspiring a blow out win. An SRO crowd of 1800 packed Schoenecker Arena, turning the bleachers into a sea of white. The Tommies used aggressive defensive play to force 20 SJU turnovers, which UST capitalized into 30 points. UST shot 55.6% from the field in the first half and 53.1% in the second, and was 56.3% for the game from beyond the arc. Using a 16-5 early in the first half, UST set the tone for the night. They added an 8-0 run to close the first half and another 8-0 run to open the second half to push the lead to 19. A dozen Tommies scored, led by Joe Scott with 18, including four-of-seven from three-point land. Tyler Nicolai added 13 points, B.J. Viau tallied 11 and Brett Tuma chipped in 10. Alex McCoy had six rebounds, five assists and three steals. UST committed only 11 turnovers, with just four in the second half, and never trailed.
After falling behind 9-4 in the early going on Saturday, the Tommies countered with a 10-0 rally, part of a 26-5 run that put the game out of reach by the half. UST limited Hamline to 23.8% shooting in the opening half and 36.7% for the game. The Tommie defense forced 21 Piper turnovers, and UST converted those into 24 points. The St. Thomas bench contributed 38 points, and 10 different players scored for UST. Nicolai led the attack with 15 points. Anders Halverson added 12 points, including a dunk that drew a huge roar from the crowd of 1650. McCoy had a solid game, scoring 12 to go with his team-leading seven rebounds. He added three steals and a pair of assists. Alex Healy dropped in 10 points. It was the final regular season played in UST’s Shoenecker Arena, which is slated to be leveled this spring. Hamline will be relieved to see Shoenecker go, as they finished 0-30 there.
The Tommies, ranked #1 in the nation, finished their regular season 20-0 in league play and 25-0 overall. They will host one of the semifinal games in the MIAC Playoffs this Wednesday.
The red-hot Royals, winners of three in a row and nine of their past 11 games, vaulted into second place in the MIAC. They beat Gustavus 87-72 and Carleton 64-51 to cement their third-ever second-place finish.
Bethel snapped a 16-game home losing streak to Gustavus on Wednesday. They broke a 7-7 tie with a 17-4 run and never trailed from that point on. Back-to-back buckets by Mike Moberg ignited the run. After the Gusties pulled within a basket midway through the second half, Cory Laugen coolly drained a pair of free throws to stem the tide. Later, Tim Madson reeled off eight unanswered points to push the lead back into double digits. Madson and Laugen went a combined six-for-six from the charity stripe in the final minutes to seal the win. Bethel committed only six turnovers in the game and held a 30-25 edge off the glass. Madson led the way with a game-high 28 points; he also doled out four assists. Laugen had a solid all-around night, scoring 21, with five assists and three steals. He added eight rebounds and was nine-for-nine from the free throw line. Moberg added 16 points and eight boards and Nathan Robertson chipped in 11 points.
The Royals broke a halftime tie by opening the second stanza with a 7-0 run against Carleton. They closed the gamed with a 9-0 spurt, holding Carleton scoreless over the final 3:36. Bethel held the Knights to 18 second half points, limiting them to 28.0% shooting in the half. For the day, they held Carleton to two three-pointers on 15 attempts. Madson led the way with 20 points, while Laugen added 12. Moberg posted a double-double, scoring 16 to go with his 11 rebounds. Bethel enjoyed a 34-23 edge in rebounding.
Bethel ends the regular season 14-6 in MIAC play and 19-6 overall. By finishing second, they earn a bye in the opening round of the MIAC Playoffs and will host the higher remaining seeded team in Wednesday’s semifinals.
The Johnnies lost to St. Thomas 82-47 but bounced back to beat Gustavus 71-60. That put them in a three-way tie for third place. SJU earned the #3 seed in the MIAC Playoff by virtue of the tiebreakers.
Wednesday, SJU struggled with St. Thomas’ press and aggressive defense. The Johnnies were limited to 38.0% shooting from the field, including just 23.5% from three-point range. Saint John’s never led, but did erupt for a 13-2 late in the first half to close within three. However, UST scored the next 16 points to regain control of the game. Aaron Burtzel was the lone SJU player to reach double figures, scoring 109. Cole Isetts grabbed six rebounds to lead the team off the glass.
The Johnnies used a 13-2 in the opening minutes of the game to take a 15-5 lead. After the Gusties rallied to within three, SJU erupted for a 16-4 run, pushing the lead to 15 late in the first half. They maintained a double-digit lead most of the rest of the way, allowing GAC to get as close seven. The Johnnies shot 51.9% in the first half and 49.0% for the day. Their defense held the Gusties to 32.1% shooting in the first half, enabling SJU to take a commanding edge. Five Johnnies reached double figures, led by Burtzel with 15. Isetts finished with 13 points. Andy Burns added 12, while Chris Schwartz chipped in 11 and Aaron Barmore added 10.
Saint John’s finished the regular season 12-8 in league action and 14-11 overall. The Johnnies host Gustavus in Monday’s quarterfinals.
The Auggies went 1-1 on the week to garner the #4 seed. They beat Carleton 70-54 but lost 82-75 to Saint Mary’s.
Wednesday, Augsburg used a 13-4 run to close out the first half, regaining the lead and taking a 34-26 margin into the locker room. Ben Flavin book-ended the run with a bucket to start it and a triple to close it. Midway through the second half, Flavin drained successive threes to spark an 8-0 spurt that put the game out of reach. Flavin and Jon Cassens combined to go 6-for-six from the charity line in the final minutes to wrap up the win. Augsburg dominated the boards, holding a 42-27 edge. The Auggies shot 49.31% from the floor for the game while limiting Carleton to 35.6%. Flavin led all scorers with 22 points. He also handed out four assists. Cassens added 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. Nate Alm posted his ninth double-double of the year, scoring 11 with a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Auggies jumped out to a 16-5 lead at Saint Mary’s, an outburst that was fueled by nine points from David Olson. SMU countered with a 17-0 run and never let up the rest of the way. Augsburg was hurt by icy shooting from three-point range, as they converted only two of 13 in the second half and connected on just 22.7% of their threes on the game. Olson finished the day with 27 points, while Andy Grzesiak-Grimm added 18, with seven rebounds. Alm pulled down 10 boards.
Augsburg closed the regular season 12-8 in MIAC play and 14-11 overall. The Auggies host Carleton in the quarterfinals of the MIAC Playoffs on Monday.
The Knights lost twice on the week, falling to Augsburg 70-54 and Bethel 64-51. By losing four of their final five games, Carleton slipped from second place to the #5 seed.
Wednesday, Carleton took a 22-16 lead midway through the first half. However, from that point, cold shooting spelled trouble for the Knights. Carleton shot 37.0% in the first half and a chilly 34.4% in the second; they were only 33.3% from beyond the arc. Bryan Rosett led the Knights with 14 points. Zach Johnson posted a double-double, scoring 12 and grabbing 11 rebounds. Kellan McLemore chipped in 11 points.
Saturday, Johnson became the 17th player in MIAC history- and the first from Carleton- to go over the 2,000-point mark in his career but it wasn’t enough to lift the Knights past Bethel. The Knights closed the first half with a 6-0 run to pull into a 33-33 tie at the intermission. The Knights shooting went cold in the second half, as they connected on just 28.0% of their shots and were one-for-10 from three-point land. Carleton was out-rebounded 34-23 for the day. Johnson led all scorers with 23 points. He had a team-leading eight rebounds, along with three assists and a steal. Seth Jonker added 13 points, while Carter Biewen pulled in seven boards.
Carleton closed the season 12-8 in MIAC play, part of a three-way tie for third. The Knights are 16-9 overall. They travel to Augsburg for one of Monday night’s quarterfinal games.
The Gusties lost twice, dropping them to sixth place. They fell to Bethel 87-72 and Saint John’s 71-60.
Wednesday, the Gusties ran into a hot Bethel team. While both teams shot well in the first half, the Gusties took nine fewer shots and trailed by 10 at the half. Trailing by 12, Jesse Van Sickle dropped in a trey to ignite an 18-8 run that pulled GAC within two. Van Sickle capped that run with another three. However, Gustavus could not pull closer and Bethel countered with a game-sealing 8-0 run. Van Sickle led the attack with a career-high 26 points, including six three-pointers. He also dished out four assists. Ryan McPartland added 14 points and Bobby Johnson pulled down nine rebounds to go with his seven points.
The Gusties struggled offensively at Saint John’s, particularly in the first half. They fell behind by 10 in the opening minutes but did manage to trip the gap to three as Van Sickle drained a trey with 11:19 left in the first half. Unfortunately, SJU erupted for a decisive 16-4 run. In the second half, GAC was able to play the Johnnies even, but could not get closer than seven points. Van Sickle led the attack with 20 points. McPartland posted a double-double, scoring 17 and grabbing 13 rebounds.
Gustavus ends the year 11-9 in MIAC games and 12-13 overall. They return to Saint John’s for Monday’s quarterfinals of the MIAC Playoffs.
The Pipers closed their season with a 71-49 loss to St. Thomas.
Tony Thrasher put Hamline in front of St. Thomas 9-4 with three three-pointers in the opening minutes on Saturday. UST then held the Pipers scoreless for over seven minutes. Thrasher scored Hamline’s first 10 points and 14 of the team’s 17 first half points; he had an assist on the other basket HU scored in the half. The other Pipers warmed up in the second half, but Hamline could not draw closer than 12. The Pipers were hurt by cold shooting (36.7%) and 21 turnovers. Thrasher finished the day with a game-high 22 points; he was the lone Piper in double figures. Carl Hipp pulled down nine rebounds and blocked six shots while scoring seven points.
Hamline closes the 2008-09 season 8-12 in MIAC play and 9-16 overall.
The Cobbers ended the season on a positive note, winning twice on the week to finish with a three-game win skein. For the week, they beat Saint Mary’s 77-64 and tipped St. Olaf 75-74 in overtime.
John Fraase had an amazing night on Wednesday, pulling down a school record 24 rebounds to go with his 31 points, leading the Cobbers to the win over SMU. The win was the 500th of Rich Glas’ coaching career. Midway through the first half, the Cobbers broke a 10-10 tie with an 18-8 run. They extended the lead to as many as 14 before settling for a 40-30 halftime edge. The lead grew to 17 before an SMU rally cut it to eight. Fraase stepped with a pair of jumpers, nine free throws and 10 rebounds over the final 8:332 to seal the win. Cody Dyshaw drained four three-pointers for a 12-point night and Johnathon Molina added 10 points, four assists and a pair of seals.
The Cobbers rallied on Saturday, overcoming a five-point deficit to force overtime and then winning the game as Fraase took a sweet pass from Eric Hartmann to score the winning bucket with 0:03 remaining. Fraase finished the day with 15 points and 13 rebounds, his 15th double-double of the year, a new Concordia record. He broke the school’s 50-year old record by averaging 11.4 rebounds per game. Joining him in double figures were Darrin Olmscheid, who tallied 18, Molina, who added 12, and Hartmann, who chipped in 10.
Concordia ends its 2008-09 season 8-12 in league play and 11-14 overall.
The Oles beat Macalester 68-47 before closing their season on the short end of a 75-74 overtime game with Concordia.
St. Olaf led from start to finish Wednesday, using its dominance on the boards and a stringent defense to claim the win, The Oles out-rebounded Mac 59-29 and held the Scots to 26.2% shooting, including only 18.2% from behind the arc. The Oles jumped to an early 23-7 lead and never took their foot off the gas, coasting to the win. They led by 16 at the half and never let Mac c loser than 12. Alfred Jaryan led the Oles with 17 points, five assists and four steals. Tucker Sheley posted a double-double, scoring 12 to go with 13 rebounds. Nate Krosschell added 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Oles and Cobbers locked horns on Saturday and turned out a thriller. The Oles held a six point lead with four minutes left in the first half but saw the Cobbers erase that and take a one-point lead into the intermission. The Oles opened up a five-point lead twice in the second half, only to see those leads evaporate, too. They were trailing by three in the closing seconds of regulation when Mark Torrell found the hole for a trey with 0:02 showing on the clock, sending the game into overtime. The Oles opened a three-point lead in the OT only to see victory snatched from their hands on a final-seconds bucket. Krosschell led the offense with 13 points, while Stuart Neville chipped in 12 point and Brady McMahon added 10.
St. Olaf finished the season 10-15 overall and 7-13 in league play.
The Cardinals lost to Concordia 77-64 but bounced back on Senior Day to topple Augsburg 82-75. SMU more than tripled its win total of last season.
Wednesday, SMU shot just 35.5% from the floor in the first half, which helped Concordia take a 14-point lead before the half, which SMU was able to slice down to 10 by the break. The Cards could not make up ground in the second half, and fell behind by as many as 17 before using a 13-4 run to pull within eight. Despite committing just seven turnovers, SMU could not get closer. Will Wright led the way with 18 points, and Lukas Holland added 14.
Saint Mary’s celebrated their seniors with a come-from-behind win over Augsburg. Trailing 16-5, the Cards reeled off 17 consecutive points to take the lead. Bradley Bruno dropped in six points during that run. SMU posted a 10-4 run later in the first half to extend their lead to double figures. The lead peaked at 14, but Augsburg pulled back to within a bucket midway through the second half. The Knights responded with a 12-4 outburst and held off a final late rally to secure the win. Wright led the way with a game-high 24 points. Holland added 21 points, along with nine rebounds and five assists. Bruno finished the day with 14 points and three steals.
The Cardinals close the season 6-14 in MIAC action and 718 overall.
The Scots lost to St. Olaf 68-47 on Wednesday, for their 20th loss in MIAC play. They are the first team to go winless in conference play since the MIAC expanded to 20 games.
Mac never led on Wednesday, as the Oles leapt to a 23-7 lead. The Scots were hurt by cold shooting (26.2% from the field and 18.2% from three-point range). They notched 17 steals, led by Paul Richie with six. Richie and Jerry Kraus paced the offense with 10 points apiece. Tyson Morgan grabbed five rebounds to lead the team.
Macalester closed its season 0-25 overall, and 0-20 in MIAC play.