Tommie teams advance, Gustavus falls in D-III Basketball Tournament
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The University of St. Thomas got off to a
great start in NCAA Division III Basketball Tournament play Friday
night, with both its men's and women's teams winning to advance to
the second round, while the MIAC's other team in the field - the
Gustavus men's team - suffered a close loss to end its season.
The Tommie men (22-6) won its second-straight overtime game - this time a 76-74 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps - to successfully start its national title defense in Whitewater, Wis. The St. Thomas women (27-1) treated the home crowd in St. Paul to a 71-58 victory over Martin Luther for their 27th-straight win, and the Gustavus men (20-8) lost a 68-60 game to Wheaton just across the border in River Falls, Wis.
With just nine seconds left in overtime, St. Thomas guard John Nance made two free throws to break a 74-74 tie with the eventual winning points as C-M-S missed a 3-pointer with one-second left to give the Tommies their first-round win in the men's bracket. Will DeBerg continued his great postseason with 19 points and four 3-pointers, Zach Riedeman scored 13 off the bench, Noah Kaiser had 12 points and seven rebounds and Erik Tengwall scored 11 points.
The women's win was a little less stressful for UST fans as the Tommies scored the game's first eight points and led 15-3 almost nine minutes into the game. Martin Luther roared back and even led by four points in the second half, but another big run - this time a 13-0 spurt - to regain control. Maggie Weiers led the Tommies with a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double. Taylor Young had 14 points and eight boards and Sarah Smith chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Unfortunately, Gustavus wasn't quite as lucky in its first-round game. Wheaton built a 28-23 lead at halftime and built that lead to as many as 14 points in the second half, but the Gusties battled back and pulled within three points. However, Gustavus couldn't get any closer than that as Wheaton held on. MIAC Player-of-the-Year Seth Anderson ended his college career with a 22-point performance, while the conference's Sixth-Man-of-the-Year, Jim Hill, had a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double in the loss.
Both Tommie teams will take the court again Saturday night with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. The UST men will face the host of its first- and second-round games, UW-Whitewater, Saturday in Whitewater at 7 p.m. The Warhawks beat Northwestern, 83-68, to set up the second-round showdown between the two schools, which also met in the 2011 NCAA Division III Football Quarterfinals. There will be live video, audio and stats available for fans to follow the action online.
The St. Thomas women are on their home floor for one more game, where they are a perfect 14-0 this season and winners of 27 games in a row. The Tommies will host Coe, which beat UW-River Falls Friday by the score 72-61. The game tips off Saturday at 7 p.m. and there will be live video and audio for fans who can't make the trip to the UST campus in St. Paul.
For complete details, visit the interactive brackets (men - women) for the 2012 NCAA Division III Basketball Tournaments.
First Round - Friday, March 2
First Round - Friday, March 2
Second Round - Saturday, March 3
Coe @ St. Thomas | 7 p.m. | St. Paul, Minn. | Live Video/Audio |