MIAC roundup: Men’s basketball defeats St. Mary’s

By  |  Tuesday, February 11, 2014 9:25 AM

Bench propels St. Thomas to 92-59 victory over St. Mary’s

Forward Zach Riedeman led the St. Thomas men’s basketball team with 15 points in a 92-59 win over St. Mary’s University Saturday at Schoenecker Arena, but the Tommies’ bench production accounted for more than 50 of the team’s points.

The Tommies led by 14 points at halftime and shot 57.1 percent from the field in the first half. The St. Thomas bench added 40 points in the second half as the Tommies outscored the Cardinals 50-31 in the final frame.

“We were really unselfish as a team. I believe we had 24 assists to five turnovers,” guard Marcus Alipate said. “Playing unselfish and getting other teammates the ball, trusting them to hit their open shots (was key in the game).”

St. Mary’s struggled all game, turning the ball over 18 times. St. Mary’s got off to a slow start, trailing 19-4 at one point. The bench also led production for the Cardinals, with freshman Ronnie Ortiz scoring 14 points.

“It doesn’t matter who contributes, we are very team oriented,” Alipate said. “There isn’t much dropoff from our starters and our bench players in means of talent, therefore competition drives the team to perform night in and night out.”

The victory gives the Tommies their sixth consecutive win. St. Thomas is in first place in the conference with a one-game lead over St. Olaf with four conference games remaining. The Tommies will travel to Northfield, Minn. Wednesday night to take on the Oles.

“We are approaching it like we do any other game, we are focused on our team and getting our team better before worrying about the Oles,” Alipate said. “We are going to come out play hard, and really set the tone defensively from the start of the game.”

Men’s hockey defeats Bethel, takes top spot in MIAC

Forward Jordan Lovick’s two goals and one assist propelled the St. Thomas men’s hockey team to a 5-2 victory over Bethel on Saturday in Blaine.

All three of Lovick’s points came in a four-goal second period that gave the Tommies a three-goal lead after two periods of play. St. Thomas outshot Bethel 36-17 and scored three power play goals in the first two periods of play.

With the win, the No. 8-ranked Tommies (16-3-2 overall, 10-0-2 MIAC) reclaimed possession of first place in the MIAC standings, moving one point ahead of Gustavus.

After a scoreless first period, Lovick got the team rolling, scoring the game’s first two goals. Forwards Nick Nielsen and Michael Dockry also contributed a goal each during the second period. Forward Derek Jacobson finished off the Tommie scoring with an early third-period goal, while goaltender Drew Fielding saved 15 of 17 shots.

Forward Tyler Gubb said the team’s ability to play as “one unit” was key to a pair of victories during the weekend.

“Our ability to execute was stronger on Saturday, but Friday we had a lot of shots,” Gubb said.

With four games left before the conference playoffs, the first-place Tommies take on the second-place Gusties twice next weekend in a home-and-home series that could decide the MIAC regular-season title.

“It’s always exciting to play Gustavus,” Gubb said. “Everyone’s fired up to play.”

Women’s hockey outscores Bethel 3-2

Forward Courtney Umland’s game-winning goal in the second period lifted the St. Thomas women’s hockey team (14-4-3 overall, 11-1-2 MIAC) to a 3-2 victory over Bethel Saturday at St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights.

After Bethel snapped St. Thomas’ 10-game unbeaten streak Friday night, the Tommies got back in the win column on Saturday. Forward Paige Baldwin scored twice in the first period over a span of 1:44 and goaltender Taylor Niesen stopped 27 of 29 shots in just her third start this season.

The victory helps St. Thomas maintain a share of the conference lead. The Tommies are tied with Gustavus for first in the MIAC, and both teams have four games left in their regular seasons. The teams will face off in a home-and-home series this weekend that will likely decide the conference champion.

Men’s tennis triumphs over Cardinal Stritch, 6-3

Freshmen Burke Anderson, Scott Wall and Matt Kavanaugh won both their singles and doubles matches as the St. Thomas men’s tennis team topped Cardinal-Stritch 6-3 at Anderson Fieldhouse Saturday.

The victory gives the Tommie men their first win of the season after they lost their season-opener to Division II St. Cloud State. Tom Runde also won his singles match while the pairs of Anderson/Kavanaugh and Radermacher/Wall won their doubles matches.

The men’s team opens their MIAC season this weekend against Macalester. The Scots were picked to finish sixth in the preseason MIAC coaches poll, while the Tommies were picked to finish third.

Women’s tennis beats St. Ben’s

Junior Kara Lefsrud and sophomore Bridget Noack won both their singles and doubles matches Sunday afternoon as the St. Thomas women’s tennis team defeated the College of St. Benedict 6-3 for the team’s first conference win of the season.

The St. Thomas women lost their first meet of the weekend Saturday as they fell 6-3 to Cardinal-Stritch before bouncing back Sunday with 6-3 win over St. Ben’s. Senior Rachel Wright, sophomore Shelby Henderson and freshman Paige Becher also won their individual matches as the Tommies went 5-1 on singles in the meet.

“Saturday we just tried to work some things out, and there was really no pressure,” Lefsrud said. “Sunday, because it was a conference meet, we really went out there and just went for it and gave it our all.”

The Tommie women will travel to St. Cloud Friday to take on Division II St. Cloud State, then will take on Macalester at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis on Sunday. Lefsrud said the team is still trying to figure out its strengths and weaknesses but said the team has a “positive attitude and positive energy.”

“We all have the same goal in mind and that is to be conference champs,” Lefsrud said. “We have a lot of freshmen, and we’re just trying to get them used to the college game, but on the positive side, they all did really well this weekend, and we could not be happier about that.”

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