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Toms beat Bethel, host SJU in MIAC men's hoops playoff final

February 25, 2000
Thur. Feb. 24, 2000
MIAC Men's Basketball Playoff Semifinals
at St. Thomas

St. Thomas 79
Bethel 70

Kip Sparby's 23 points propel Toms to playoff finals

Senior guard Kip Sparby scored 23 points and soph guard Mark Buri added 21 points and six assists as host and top-seed St. Thomas held off fourth-seed Bethel, 79-70, in an MIAC men's basketball semifinal game Thursday night at Schoenecker Arena.

The Toms (21-4), ranked 22nd nationally, will host Saturday's championship game at 7:30 p.m. against third-seed St. John's, a 58-57 winner at second-seed Augsburg Thursday night.
The tourney winner gets an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III playoffs.

Mike Wrobel added 12 points and 14 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double for the Toms, who shot 49% from the field and outrebounded Bethel 41-33. UST has won 15 of its last 16 games.

Brett Repasky had 24 points, Andy Gilbert added 15 and Eric Robertson added seven points and eight rebounds for the Royals, who finished 14-11.

St. Thomas never trailed as they jumped to leads of 10-0, 46-31 and 47-35 at halftime. The Toms used an 11-0 run early in the second half to build a 58-38 lead, but Bethel countered with a 19-5 run to pull within 63-57 with 6:16 to go. Sparby hit a three to build the lead back to nine and the Toms made 10-of-13 free throws in the final 4:37 to hold off Bethel.

Sparby hit four threes to move to 248 on his career and also surpassed 1,400 career points in the game. UST senior Joe Buri played in his 100th career game and added eight points.

see box score here
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