The Tommie women's basketball team used a 21-7 game-closing run over the last 14:00 on Saturday to claim the 2013 MIAC playoff championship. St. Thomas topped host Concordia-Moorhead 58-50 and secured the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs.
Coach Ruth Sinn's Tommies (22-5) ran their season victory streak to nine and won the program's third playoff championship in the last four years.
UST has won nine of its 10 postseason games in the last two seasons.
Kellie Ring scored 16 points, Taylor Young chipped in 13 points, and Anna Smith had 10 points, nine rebounds and five steals. St. Thomas had only 11 turnovers and helped force the Cobbers into 21 turnovers.
Kelly Brandenburg, who had eight points, seven boards and four steals, had consecutive baskets during a 12-0 run within the closing surge.
PHOTO: Kellie Ring
The Toms overcame another strong game by Cobber senior Emily Thesing, who scored a team-best 16 points.
The top-seeded Cobbers, who came in 11-1 at home and winners of 12 of their last 13 games, built an eight point lead early in the second half. Concordia later went ahead 43-37 with 14:12 to play. But St. Thomas helped limit the Cobbers to two field goals the rest of the game. The Cobs' 50 points matched a season-low point total.
With the Toms leading just 53-50, Ring had a 1-and-1 free-throw situation with 22 seconds left and made both. The Toms stole the inbounds pass and drew a foul, and Smith made two more foul shots to push the lead to seven.
The Tommies will learn their NCAA playoff assignment the field is announced on Monday. Concordia (21-6) will likely get an at-large berth, with St. Mary's (22-5) a possibility for an invite, too.
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