Tommie Sports - Men's Basketball

NCAA Basketball: Point, Buena Vista advance

March 07, 2008

Action pic
St. Thomas will get to see the Toms again this week. (Greg Smith photo)

The St. Thomas men's basketball team is hosting a four-team grouping in first- and second-round NCAA Division III playoff action, March 7-8.


Friday's Games:

6 p.m.: University of Chicago (18-7) UW-Stevens Point (22-6)

Final : UW-Stevens Point 67, Chicago 53

UW-Stevens Point 67, Univ. of Chicago 53

Junior Bryan Beamish scored 26 points and the No. 9-ranked Pointers survived a 17-0 deficit to win 67-53 over Chicago in Friday's first-round men's basketball playoff game at UST's Schoenecker Arena.

The Pointers (23-6) closed the game on a 14-2 run over the final 5:30. They will play the St. Thomas-Buena Vista winner Saturday at 7 p.m., for the right to advance to the round of 16

Chicago (18-8) led 17-0 just 5:37 into the game. But the Maroons were outscored 26-2 over the next 13:50, and trailed 29-24 at halftime.

Nate Hainje had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Matt Corning had 15 points for Chicago, which shot just 39% from the field.

For Point, Scott Hoelzel added 12 points off the bench, Steve Hicklin added11 points and Khalifa El-Amin had eight assists. The Pointers hit seven treys and shot 46% from the field.

Click here for box score:


8 p.m.: St. Thomas (23-4) vs. Buena Vista (Iowa) (21-6)

Buena Vista (Iowa) 72, St. Thomas 70

Travis Person scored 12 points to lead a balanced attack and Rahn Franklin made four free throws in the final 1:00 to lead unranked Buena Vista (Iowa) to a 72-70 victory over No. 18-ranked St. Thomas in Friday's NCAA Division III men's basketball quarterfinal game at UST's Schoenecker Arena.

The Beavers (22-6), who received 28 bench points from five different players, advance to Saturday's 7 p.m. game against No. 9-ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a 67-53 winner over Chicago.

The Beavers, who shot 47% from the field, played sharp over the first 37 minutes, then held off a furious rally by St. Thomas (23-5), who lost for the first time in 13 home games this year.

Buena Vista didn't make a field goal in the last 4:00 and survived its own 20 turnovers plus a 24-point, 11-rebound game by Tommie junior forward B.J. Viau.

UST used a 12-2 run in a late 2:00 stretch tie the game 68-68. Franklin made two free throws with 60 seconds left, and after a Tommie turnover and a missed 3-point shot, Franklin made two more with :09 to play for a 72-68 lead. Viau's layup with :05 left pulled UST within two. Franklin missed two free throws with :02.6 left, and Viau's half-court shot was in and out of the rim to preserve a Buena Vista victory.

Buena Vista used a 25-3 run to build a 34-20 first-half lead. The Toms answered with a 16-7 run to close the half trailing just 41-36.

UST trailed all second half and was still down 66-56 with 3:30 left. But the Toms forced four turnovers on the press and six points by Viau to key a 12-2 ru, capped  by Joe Scott's 3-pointer with 1:33 to go that tied it 68-68. But the Toms couldn't get the last basket to win or extend the game.

Scott had 12 points and Lonnie Robinson had a career-high 10 assists. UST freshman guard Tyler Nicolai, slowed by the flu, hit two 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes but was scoreless thereafter in just 15 minutes on the game. UST shot just 39% from the field and were outscored 20-13 at the foul line.

Click here for box score:

Saturday's Game:

7 p.m.: Friday's winners (victor moves to NCAA Sweet 16 and plays March 14 at a site to be set on March 9).


200 remain at 9 a.m. Friday and will be sold in room 220 O'Shaughnessy Hall (athletic building)... $6 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and students in Schoenecker Arena, which seats 2,000.

For Saturday, tickets will go on sale after Friday night's games. If any remain in 1,600-seat arena they wll go on sale at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.


Click here for a final 59-team NCAA D-III men's bracket:

To view other men's first-round websites for national score updates, click here:



St. Thomas "Tommies" News & Notes:

Radio: None
Team Stats:
Team Website:

--No. 18-ranked St. Thomas (23-4 overall) is making its ninth NCAA playoff trip, all in the last 19 seasons, and fifth since 2000. The 1993-94 Tommie team reached the Division III Final Four.

--For the third year in a row, St. Thomas won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference automatic berth. But this year has been a surprise after graduating a two-time All-American and three other starters from last year's 24-4 team.

--UST's 28th-year head coach Steve Fritz has had a memorable season. Not only did he become the 12th active D-III coach to reach 500 career victories in January, but his team beat Division II power Winona State last November in overtime. Winona State is now 30-1 and has won 84 of its last 86 games.

--St. Thomas won its grueling 20-game conference race by a three-game margin and became the first institution to sweep the MIAC regular-season and playoff crowns three years in a row in the 23-year history of the format. UST made the conference playoffs for the 20th time in 21 seasons and reached the finals for the fourth year in a row and 12th time in the last 17 seasons.

--UST's all-time NCAA playoff record is 9-9, including a 9-4 home record. The Tommies also made eight postseason trips to Kansas City for NAIA national tournaments from 1949-74 (5-8 record).

--The Toms are 1-1 this year vs. other NCAA playoff teams with an 85-79 road loss at D-III Wooster in their second game of the year and the overtime road win at D-II Winona State.

--St. Thomas is 12-0 at home this season. Its 46-4 home record over the last four seasons includes an 8-1 postseason mark. In its 27 seasons at Schoenecker Arena, UST is 267-74 in men's hoops, including a 27-10 postseason record.

--In the All-MIAC awards announced March 6, five Toms were honored -- Al McCoy was named Sixth Man of the Year; Joe Scott made the 15-man first team; Lonnie Robinson and B.J. Viau were named to the five-man All-Defensive Team; and  Tyler Nicolai made the five-man All-Rookie Team. Steve Fritz was named Coach of the Year for the 13th time.

--Tommie forward Lonnie Robinson, who was named conference Pitcher of the Year last season in baseball and has a 13-2 career record on the mound, has now played on six MIAC title teams and six NCAA playoff teams in his six seasons in baseball and basketball. Throw in the postseason playoffs, and Robinson has been a part of 11 of a possible 12 MIAC championships.

--Since losing 59-58 at Gustavus on a last-second shot on Jan. 12, the Tommies are 13-1 with a 14-point winning margin in the 13 victories.

--UST has been tied or trailed in the second half of 11 of their 23 wins.

--UST is ranked fourth nationally in FG% (51.4%).

--The late Tom Feely (417 wins in 26 seasons) and Fritz (511 in 28 seasons) have been UST's only men's basketball head coaches since 1954 and have combined to win 928 games.

--When Tyler Nicolai scores seven or more points, UST is 18-0; when B.J. Viau has played since Thanksgiving, the Toms are 22-2; when Al McCoy scores eight or more points, the Toms are 11-0.

--Over the last three seasons, St. Thomas is a league-best 58-8 vs. conference foes (two losses in overtime, four others by five or less points).

--UST started the same five players all but once this season. The streak ended Jan. 12 at Gustavus when B.J. Viau sat out with the flu).
--The Toms have posted a .500 or better finish 27 of the last 28 seasons under Coach Steve Fritz. His 511-237 record (678 win%), includes a 409-148 MIAC record (.730 win%). Fritz has been on the court or sideline (as a player, assistant coach or head coach) for UST men's hoops for 41 consecutive seasons covering 1,106 games in a row.

--The Tommies have displayed good balance and have had as many as 13 players contributing in many games. They average 30 ppg from bench players, up from 18 ppg last season

--This school year, St. Thomas teams have qualified thus far for NCAA Championships in volleyball, golf, cross country and basketball for women; and basketball and hockey for men. UST teams are ranked in national D-III polls in women's golf, women's cross country, men's hockey, men's basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball.


UW-Stevens Point "Pointers" News & Notes:

Radio: Stevens Point Radio: 104.9 FM
Team Stats:
Team Website:

--The No. 9-ranked Pointers are in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the seventh time and the fifth appearance in the last six years. The Pointers will face the University of Chicago in Friday's first round.

--Head Coach Bob Semling owns a 65-19 career record in his third season as the Pointers’ head coach. Semling spent the previous two years as the top assistant with UW-Stevens
Point’s NCAA Division III championship squads. Semling also coached seven seasons with the Pointers under Bob Parker from 1988-95 before coaching six seasons at UW-Green Bay and one year at New Mexico.

--The Pointers have reached the NCAA Elite Eight in four of the previous six appearances.

--UW-Stevens Point has won 22 of its last 25 postseason contests. Over the past eight seasons, the Pointers are 74-15 during the months of February and March.

--The Pointers have won 12 of their last 13 NCAA Tournament games and own the best record of any team in NCAA Division III Tournament history with a 17-4 all-time mark.

--The Pointers are 80-9 in their last 89 games against non-WIAC opponents dating to January 2000.

--The Pointers are 3-2 against teams in the NCAA Tournament this year. Stevens Point went 1-2 against UW-Whitewater and defeated both Lawrence University and Augustana College.

--UW-Stevens Point along with the University of Chicago and the University of St. Thomas are three of 12 institutions that have both the men and the women in the NCAA Tournament. All three teams are in the same pod for both tournaments.

--In the 10 years of the top 25 poll, UW-Stevens Point men's and women's teams have collected the second-most votes combined. Washington (Mo.) is in first. The Pointers men's team has collected 51,627 votes in the 10 years.

--The Pointers are ranked first in NCAA Division III with a 1.54 assist-toturnover ratio. They are third in the country, averaging just 10.2 turnovers per game.

--The Pointers are sixth in the nation with a .509 field goal percentage. They rank eighth with a + 14.3 scoring margin.

--UW-Stevens Point went to the free-throw line just six times last Saturday in a conference playoff loss to UW-Whitewater. The Pointers are 2-3 in games, where they go to the foul line less than 10 times.

--The Pointers are second in the WIAC in scoring offense (77.5) and lead the league in scoring defense (63.2). The Pointers are 1-3 when they score under 70 points this season.

--UW-Stevens Point leads the WIAC in blocks (92), steals (217), and assists (440).

--The Pointers lead the WIAC with 232 three-point field goals.

--Senior Steve Hicklin has a team-best 12.4 pppg scorig average and has 1,150 career points. He's the lone Pointer to have played for the 2004-05 NCAA championship team.

--Junior Pete Rortvedt averages 12.4 ppg and 4.3 rpg and has 1,106 points, including 225 career 3-pointers. He need eight treys to break Nick Bennett's school record.


Buena Vista University "Beavers" News & Notes:

Radio: Storm Lake radio 97.5 FM KBVU
Team Stats:
Team Webpage:

--Buena Vista (21-6) won the Iowa Conference title but lost to Loras in the playoff finals. The Beavers received one of 21 at-large berths into the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament and are in the field for the sixth time in seven seasons and eighth appearance overall.

--BVU has won 15 of its last 18 games. The Beavers are 11-3 on the road and have a win over Division II Augustana (S.D.).

--BVU beat WIAC team UW-Stout at home by 18 points and went 1-1 thus far vs. MIAC teams (12-point home loss to Gustavus, 19-point road win at St. Olaf).

--The Beavers are led by junior guard Andre Wagner (14.7 ppg, 66 3-pointers, 2.0 spg).

--Junior big men Matt Cleveland and Brian Fogleman chip in with 9.6 and 9.4 ppg, respectively as senior Rahn Franklin and junior Travis Person round out the starters, averaging 6.9 and 6.5 points per game, respectively.

--Bench production has been a strong component to the success this season - led by junior Kyle Stribe’s 8.7 ppg. Seniors Adam Friedrichsen and Adam Arndorfer are right behind, averaging 5.9 pppg. Seniors Jeff Bissen and Eric Holton contribute 4.5 and 4.1 ppg, respectively. As a team, BVU averages 76.6 points per game and shoots well (47% FG, 39% 3FG, 68% FT).

--The Beavers’ defense has held opponents to 67.9 points per game this season and just 43% FG. The Beavers out-rebounded opponents an average of 38-32 on the season.


University of Chicago "Maroons" News & Notes:

Radio: None
Webcast: None (link to opponents' webcasts)
Team Stats:
Team Webpage:

--Senior forward Nate Hainje (1,105 career points) has been selected conference Player of the Year. He's the only player in the UAA to rank among the league's top 10 in scoring, rebounding, and assists. Hainje has become the first player in Chicago history to post career totals of at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 200 assists. He was particularly productive down the stretch, as he averaged 20.9 points and 9.8 boards over his last eight games, with five double-doubles.

--Chicago has won six in a row and 15 of its last 18 and is ranked 22nd nationally. With a 74-66 victory over Washington (Mo.) on the final day of the regular season, Chicago captured its second University Athletic Association title in as many years and sixth in school history -- all since 1996-97.

--A disciplined offense and potent three-point attack have been the strengths of the Maroons throughout the season. Entering the final week of the regular season, Chicago ranked fourth in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.41) and 15th in fewest turnovers per game (11.8), and stood ninth in three-point field goals per game (9.9).

--In his first year as a starter, sophomore point guard Jake Pancratz finished second in the UAA with 4.5 assists per game and fifth with 2.4 three-point baskets per contest.

--Junior guard Matt Corning, also a first-year starter, finished the regular season in third place in the UAA scoring race with 17.8 points per game. He reached double digits in 23 of 25 games with eight 20-point performances.

--Chicago relies heavily on its starting five, as only two other players average better than 10 minutes per game.

--Head Coach Mike McGrath is in his ninth year at Chicago, where he has compiled a record of 152-80 (.655). McGrath makes his fourth trip to the Division III tournament.

--The Maroons are participating in the NCAA tournament for the eighth time (8-7 all-time record, 0-6 away/neutral) and for the second time in as many years. Chicago lost to Hope 76-54 in the opening round of last year's tournament.

--This season marks Chicago's fourth NCAA postseason appearance in nine years under Head Coach Mike McGrath. Under McGrath, the Maroons own a 3-3 overall record in NCAA tournament play with a quarterfinal showing in 2001 and a round-of-sixteen performance in 2000.

--Chicago posted a 4-4 mark (2-3 on the road) during the regular season against teams participating in the 2008 NCAA Division III playoffs. the split with conference teams Rochester and Wash. U, swept No. 5-ranked Brandeis and lost close road games to Loras and Wheaton (Ill.)

--The Maroons faced the third-most difficult schedule in the NCAA Division III during the regular season according to the Massey Ratings, which rates teams based on win-loss outcomes relative to schedule difficulty.

--Chicago notched a 3-2 mark (2-1 away from home) against teams ranked in the final top-25 poll of the regular season.

--The Maroons logged more than 3,500 air miles as they navigated their 2007-08 regular season schedule. The 25-game slate featured traditional weekend trips to UAA host cities New York (NYU), Boston (Brandeis), Atlanta (Emory), St. Louis (Washington), Pittsburgh (Carnegie Mellon), Cleveland (Case), and Rochester (U. of Rochester), as well as a tournament in the Indianapolis area.

--Chicago finished 6-5 away from home, including a victory in its only neutral court affair. The Maroons enter the NCAA tournament having won five of their last six road games with two wins over nationally-ranked opponents (79-77 at Brandeis on Jan. 25, 74-65 at Rochester on Feb. 3).

--The Maroons have had more assists than turnovers in 21 of their 25 games.

--The Maroons' 10.0 3-point field goals a game ranks ninth in Division III. Sophomore guard Pancratz leads the Maroons with 59 treys.

--Chicago is 15-2 when leading at halftime and 16-0 when leading with 5:00 left. The Maroons are 18-3 when they shoot 40% or better and 0-4 when they shoot 39% or less. They are 1-6 when helkd under 70 points.


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