Northwestern (Roseville) hosted not 1 but 2 UMAC playoffs Wednesday night. The women hosted Martin Luther at 5:30 and the men Minnesota-Morris at 7:30. The result was, well, near disaster.
The women fell behind by 10 early in the 2nd, clawed back to within 51-49, then fell behind by 15 with just 2 minutes remaining. The game, or at least the 2nd half, was not as close as the 78-72 final.
The men followed by falling behind 41-27 then 47-38 at the half. It looked like a bad night for Northwestern. But the men roared back to take a 49-48 lead early in the 2nd half, and even pulled ahead by 10, 66-56, at the 10 minute mark. Now it was UMM that roared back to tie at 76. But Wade Chitwood and Tom Gisler scored the next 5 points and Northwestern never again trailed. Even so, Steve Birman of UMM launched a 3 with 8 seconds remaining that would have tied the game, but missed. Brendan Foss grabbed the rebound but UMM was unable to get off another shot.
Player of the Day: The top players both excelled in a losing cause. Mollie Sir of Northwestern scored 27 points with 9 assists and 2 steals, while Foss of UMM scored 19 with 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals.
Coaches of the Day: Here I'm gonna pick Aaron Greiss, Augsburg men, and Guy Kalland, Carleton men, winners of tonight's MIAC playoffs. Augsburg led most of the way in beating St. John's 74-67. Carleton edged Bethel 48-43, after blowing a 25-13 (!) half-time lead and trailed 39-35 with 4:12 to go. Taylor Hall of Bethel ended his career as the top MIAC scorer on the night with 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds.