Monday, January 16, 2012

The Big Game 1-16-12: Bethel, Tommies Split a Pair

The 1st place St. Thomas men and women took on Bethel tonight, and the Royals pulled 1--and almost 2--upsets. But surprisingly, it was the Bethel men, just 2-6 going in, who pulled the upset, on the road no less, rather than the 7-3 Bethel women at home. Kellen Dahlquist scored off the offensive glass as the final buzzer sounded to bring Bethel the 69-68 win.

Like the Bethel men, the women trailed early and rallied heartily in the 2nd half. Unlike the men, they didn't quite get it done, as a pair of missed shots inside of 10 seconds let the Tommies escape with a 68-66 win. 

St. Thomas women 68 Bethel 66

The Bethel women trailed 41-22 at the half, shooting just 34 percent in the 1st half, and still trailed 51-30 at 15:12. From there the Royals out-scored the Tommies 36-17. Bethel finally made it a 1-possession game on a 3 by Taylor Sheley at :56. A Sheley 2+1 got 'em within 1 at 67-66 with :36 to play. But the Royals would not score again. Sheley led all scorers with 32 points, 28 of them after intermission. Taylor Young scored 19 points for St. Thomas, 14 of them in the 2nd half. 

The Tommies remain unbeaten at 11-0, 1 game ahead of Gustavus Adolphus in 1st place in the MIAC. The Bethel women, who started 6-0 in the conference, drop 4 games back at 7-4.

Bethel men 69 St. Thomas 68

At the same time, a similar script was unfolding at St. Thomas' Schoenecker Arena, where the Tommies men led Bethel most of the way. But, as with the women, it was the visitors who rose to the occasion at the end.

The Tommies went ahead 68-67 on a Will DeBerg FT at :47. Daniel Baah's 3-pointer missed for Bethel at :04 but Dahlquist banked it home for the win. Bethel ended a 4-game losing streak as well as a 16-game losing streak vs. St. Thomas. DeBerg scored 22 for the Tommies, Taylor Hall 18 for Bethel.

Player of the Day

Sheley would be a good choice, but I'm gonna get Kevin Love back into the mix. Love scored 33 points and corralled 11 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 99-86 win over the Sacramento Kings. Luke Ridnour added 25 points and 9 assists. But Love scored 10 of the Wolves' final 24 points as they pulled away from a 75-73 lead at 7:10 to the easy win.

Coach of the Day

Jeff Westlund, Bethel men

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