BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - League play got underway this past Saturday for women's basketball teams in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Competition has been fierce thus far this season, with nationally-ranked St. Thomas off to an undefeated start at 5-0, Augsburg keeping pace at 6-1, and six other MIAC teams maintaining records of .500 or better a month into the 2018-19 campaign.
The University of St. Thomas is ranked No. 3 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 and No. 5 in the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Poll.
Augsburg guard Arianna Jones (Brooklyn Park, Minn. | Osseo) leads all of women's college basketball with an assist-turnover ratio of 9.25 this season.
St. Thomas center Hannah Spaulding (Annandale, Minn.) ranks No. 1 across all divisions with a field goal percentage of 83.3 this season.
AROUND THE MIAC
Junior guard Tamira McLemore (Eagan, Minn.) averaged 19 points and 6.5 rebounds in a pair of Augsburg victories last week, highlighted by scoring a season-high 25 points with nine rebounds and an assist in a 70-68 win over Bethel on Wednesday, which snapped a four-game losing streak in the series to the Royals. The junior guard also connected on a trio of three-pointers against both Bethel and St. Scholastica, extending her streak of consecutive games with at least one three-point field goal to 27.
Eight different Royals found the scoring column as Bethel built a 25-point halftime lead and never looked back in a 72-45 win over nearby non-conference foe Northwestern-St. Paul. Senior center Hannah Johnson (Duluth, Minn. | East) registered her third double-double of the year with a 16-point, 13-rebound effort against the Eagles.
Carleton forward Cece Leone (Fairfax, Va. | Bishop Ireton) earned her seventh career double-double with a 15-point, 11-rebound showing in a loss to Saint Mary's on Saturday. The double-double was the second of the season for the senior post player.
Concordia center Kirstin Simmons (Waseca, Minn.) was the driving force behind the Cobbers' two road wins last week. The senior post had a career-high point total in the team's win at Saint Benedict and then recorded her second career double-double in the victory at Hamline. Simmons scored in double figures in both games and averaged 14.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Sophomore forward Paige Richert (Comfrey, Minn.) led Gustavus with her first career double-double at 16 points and 11 rebounds against Saint Ben's on Saturday. Richert tied a season-high by going 4-for-4 on free throws, bringing her 2018 clip to 19-for-20 from the line.
Hamline first-year Chan'el Anderson-Manning (St. Paul, Minn. | Cretin-Derham Hall) scored a career-high 18 points in the Pipers' loss to Concordia on Saturday. Anderson-Manning has posted double-figure point totals in each of the last five games.
Macalester guard Justine Barraza (Burbank, Calif. | Harvard-Westlake) connected on four three-pointers in a loss to St. Olaf on Saturday. She leads all MIAC shooters with 24 threes on the year.
Saint Benedict sophomore Megan Thompson (Inver Grove Heights, Minn. | Academy of Holy Angels) scored a career-high 19 points on .857 shooting (6-for-7) from the field in a close loss to Concordia last week. She added 12 points in a road loss at Wis.-Superior and 13 points to help CSB hold on for a win over Gustavus. She went 14-for-15 from the free throw line last week while averaging 14.7 points per game.
First-year forward Sam Orth (Maple Grove, Minn. | Rogers) led St. Kate's in scoring in both games last week, averaging 23 points and 8.5 boards. Orth posted a season-best 25 points against Northland College and followed up with a 21-point performance against the nationally-ranked Tommies.
Saint Mary's forward Maggie Robertson (Orland Park, Ill. | Marist) collected her first collegiate double-double in Saint Mary's 78-57 win over Carleton last Saturday. Robertson scored a career-best 19 points and equaled her career-high with 11 rebounds versus the Knights.
Sophomore guard Keegan Mulvihill (New Prague, Minn.) posted a double-double with a season-high 17 points and 10 rebounds in a 14-point St. Olaf victory at Macalester on Saturday. Mulvihill shot 8-of-9 from the free throw line and added four steals and three assists in the game. As the Scots inched within one point at 55-54, Mulvihill sank a three-point to put the Oles ahead by four and then shot 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the last 1:05 of the game to help secure the victory.
St. Thomas center Hannah Spaulding (Annandale, Minn.) converted 16-of-19 shots, including one three-pointer, and 13-of-19 free throws while averaging 23.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocked shots, 2.0 steals, and 1.5 assists in two victories last week. She has recorded 12 double-doubles in the last two seasons and UST is now 38-3 in games on her career when she scores in double figures.