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DULUTH, Minn. (csssaints.com) – The top-seeded St. Scholastica men’s basketball team held fourth-seeded Bethany Lutheran College to 33% shooting for the game and led for nearly 39 minutes to advance to Monday’s championship game with a 71-53 victory Saturday night at the Reif Gymnasium.
How It Happened
The Saints got out to an early 8-3 lead and then a Jack Silgen (Deerwood, Minn./Crosby-Ironton HS (St. Thomas)) 3-pointer made it 15-5 less than five minutes in. Moments later a Jared Wilken 3-pointer made it a 13-point margin. Bethany (6-4) only got as close as seven the rest of the half as CSS went into halftime up 37-23. The Vikings were held to 27% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
Bethany came out with the first two buckets in the second half, which caused a quick timeout by the Saints. Following the timeout, Quinn Fischer (Esko, Minn./Esko HS) drained a 3-pointer and then Nick Carlson (Canyon, Minn./South Ridge HS) made a layup to extend the lead back to 15.
Back-to-back Viking 3-pointers cut the lead back down to nine. However, the Saints responded with a 12-0 run to go up 54-33 with 11 minutes remaining. The Vikings tried to full court press CSS the rest of the game, but Saints held their own and went on to win 71-53.
Isiah Hendrickson (Duluth, Minn./Duluth East HS) had a game-high 18 points to pace the Saints. Carlson added 12 points and Fischer 11 points. Silgen grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Cade Goggleye (Nett Lake, Minn./North Woods HS) had five steals.
The Saints (10-0) will face the second seed University of Northwestern (Minn.) Monday night at 7 p.m. in the Reif Gymnasium for the UMAC Tournament Championship. Northwestern defeated North Central University (Minn.) 67-51 in the other semifinal. This will mark the fourth UMAC Tournament championship game meeting between the Saints and Eagles in the last six years.