The Gustavus men’s basketball team will face the University of St. Thomas in the MIAC Playoff Championship game on Saturday evening at St. Thomas at 7:30 pm. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. You can listen to the game on KRDS-FM (95.5) or through the Gustavus website.
Gustavus advances to the MIAC Playoff Championship game for the 14th time in the 24-year history of the conference tournament. The Gusties opponent in the championship game on Saturday – St. Thomas, will be appearing in the championship game for the 13th time. The Gusties and Tommies are the two most successful programs in the history of the league playoffs as the Gusties have compiled an all-time playoff mark of 25-7 (.781) with seven titles, while the Tommies have compiled an all-time mark of 20-12 (.625) with seven titles. This will be the sixth time that the two teams have met in the playoff championship game.
St. Thomas is the defending MIAC Playoff Champion and the #1 seed in the tournament. The Tommies defeated #5 seed Bethel 69-68 on Thursday night at Schoenecker Arena. Gustavus, which is the #2 seed, defeated Carleton 71-70 in overtime on Thursday to advance to the championship game. The Gusties and Tommies split the regular season series with Gustavus winning 59-58 on January 12 in St. Peter and St. Thomas winning 76-68 on February 9 in St. Paul.
Gustavus enters the game with a record of 19-7, while the Tommies are 22-4. The Gusties finished the regular season ranked fifth in the league in scoring offense with an average of 70.8 points per game and second in scoring defense allowing an average of 64.7 points per game. The Tommies rank first in scoring offense with an average of 77.8 points per game and third in scoring defense allowing 65.6 points per game.
The Gusties starting lineup includes senior wing Trevor Wittwer (15.0 ppg), senior wing Kane Sivesind (10.8 ppg), sophomore wing Jesse Van Sickle (10.5 ppg), sophomore post Sam Paulson (7.5 ppg), and junior point guard Mike DesLauriers (3.6 ppg). Senior post Andrew Doble is the first player off the bench (7.9 ppg).
The Tommies starting lineup includes sophomore guard Joe Scott (16.0 ppg), freshman point guard Tyler Nicolai (10.6 ppg), junior guard B.J. Viau (9.7 ppg), senior guard Lonnie Robinson (8.0 ppg), and sophomore center David Baker (5.6 ppg). Junior forward Al McCoy is the first player off the bench (6.8 ppg).