Big fourth quarter leads Tommies to victory in MIAC Women's Basketball Playoff Championship

The Tommies are 2019 MIAC Playoff Champions.
The Tommies are 2019 MIAC Playoff Champions.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A 22-9 fourth quarter run propelled the University of St. Thomas to a 73-54 victory over Augsburg University in the 2019 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Women's Basketball Playoff Championship Game on Saturday afternoon in St. Paul. The victory granted UST the MIAC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament.

2019 MIAC Women's Basketball Playoffs |

St. Thomas center Hannah Spaulding was the focal point of the Tommies' attack, as the senior post player registered a 25-point, 17-rebound double-double in the victory. Kaia Porter and Lucia Renikoff both finished in double-figures as well for the MIAC champs, totaling 16 and 10 points, respectively. With only four points separating the teams after two quarters of play, Porter was key to UST's second-half surge, scoring 11 of her 16 points in the final two frames. Junior guard Tamira McLemore led the way for the Auggies, scoring a team-high 19 points in the game, with 12 of those points coming from behind the three-point line. For St. Thomas, the win secured an eighth straight MIAC Playoff title and extended the Toms' home win streak to 24 games.

Before cutting down the nets, St. Thomas received the MIAC Playoff championship plaque as well as the Conference's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Augsburg and the rest of the MIAC's top teams will await Monday's NCAA Tournament selection announcement to find out if they will join the Tommies in the Big Dance.

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

Semifinals | Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 |
No. 1 St. Thomas 64, No. 5 Gustavus 39 | Box Score | Recap |
No. 2 Augsburg 79, No. 3 Bethel 70 | Box Score | Recap |

Championship | Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 |
No. 1 St. Thomas 73, No. 2 Augsburg 54 | Box Score |