Royals, Gusties advance in MIAC Women’s Basketball Playoffs

BU/GAC 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The 2019 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Women's Basketball Playoffs tipped off on Tuesday night with a pair of quarterfinal matchups.

No. 3 Bethel University avenged last year's quarterfinal loss to Saint Mary's with a 62-52 victory over the No. 6 seeded Cardinals, while No. 5 Gustavus cruised to a 73-43 victory at No. 4 Saint Benedict.

2019 MIAC Women's Basketball Playoffs |

The Gusties and Royals now join St. Thomas and Augsburg in the semifinals. The top-seeded Tommies will host No. 5 Gustavus, while No. 2 seed Augsburg will welcome No. 3 Bethel. The Tommies and Gusties will tipoff at 5:00 p.m. in St. Paul on Thursday night while the Auggies will host the Royals at 7:00 p.m. in Minneapolis on Thursday.

NO. 3 BETHEL 66, NO. 6 SAINT MARY'S 52 | Box Score |
Junior forward Taite Anderson led four Royals in double figures with a team-high 17 points to help No. 3 Bethel top No. 6 Saint Mary's, 66-52, in Arden Hills on Tuesday night. The game was tight through three quarters of play, but the Royals pulled away in the fourth, outscoring the Cardinals by a margin of 25-14 in the final 10 minutes to move on to the semifinal round. Bethel bested SMU on second-chance points (11-2) and fastbreak points (12-2) and got 14 points off the bench against just four from the Cards' reserves. Senior center Hannah Johnson pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds for the Royals, while senior forward Brandi Blattner finished off her tremendous SMU career with a game-high 18 points and a team-leading eight boards for the Cardinals. Bethel will now move on to the semifinal round to face No. 2 seed Augsburg. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 21 at Si Melby Hall in Minneapolis.

NO. 5 GUSTAVUS 73, NO. 4 SAINT BENEDICT 43 | Box Score |
After falling to Saint Benedict twice during the regular season, No. 5 Gustavus proved the third time was the charm, never trailing in the game and rolling to a 73-43 victory over the No. 4 Bennies on Thursday night. Paige Richert led the way for the Gusties with 20 points and nine rebounds, both of which were game-highs. Richert and the Gusties dominated the paint, where 44 of the team's points were scored compared to just 10 down low for CSB. Saint Ben's was led by sophomore forward Maddie Schmitz, who totaled 12 points and five rebounds in the contest. The Gustavus win sets up a rematch with a familiar foe in St. Thomas. The Gusties and Tommies have met in the MIAC title game each of the last two seasons with St. Thomas claiming victories in both of those contests. Tipoff for Thursday's semifinal game is set for 5:00 p.m. in St. Paul.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SET FOR SATURDAY
The two semifinal winners will meet on Saturday, February 23, in the 2019 MIAC Women's Basketball Playoff Championship game. The game is tentatively scheduled for 3 p.m. The MIAC Playoff champion will receive the postseason championship plaque and the conference's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Basketball Tournament.

The MIAC has a homepage dedicated to the 2019 MIAC Women's Basketball Playoffs, containing schedules, links, and information on each of the six teams in the field. Throughout the tournament, the page will be updated with scores, stats, updated schedules and more. Fans can also follow the action on the MIAC Scoreboard, on the free MIAC mobile app, and on social media through the MIAC's FacebookInstagram and Twitter accounts.


2019 MIAC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Quarterfinals | Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 |
No. 3 Bethel 66, No. 6 Saint Mary's 52 | Box Score |
No. 5 Gustavus 73, No. 4 Saint Benedict 43 | Box Score |

Semifinals | Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 |
No. 5 Gustavus at No. 1 St. Thomas | 5:00 PM |
No. 3 Bethel at No. 2 Augsburg | Live Stats | Video | 7:00 PM |

Championship | Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 | 3:00 PM |
Lowest remaining seed at Highest remaining seed

GAME TIMES ARE TENTATIVE