Tommy Hannon, St. Thomas
St. Paul, Minn. / Cretin-Derham Hall
Sunday was quite a day for the St. Thomas men's basketball team and senior star Tommy Hannon (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall). Not only did the Tommie center score a game-high 22 points against Augsburg to lead his team to its third-straight MIAC Men's Basketball Playoff Championship, but he also reached the 1,000-point plateau on his final basket. That came on the heels of a tremendous all-around performance in the a semifinal win over Carleton Thursday. For his postseason performance, Hannon was named the MIAC Men's Basketball Athlete-of-the-Week.
Hannon was ultra-efficient in Sunday's 92-65 championship-game win over the Auggies, shooting 9-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from the line en route to his 22-point performance. The senior added six rebounds and two assists in the win, as UST claimed its seventh MIAC Playoff title in eight years. Hannon contributed nine points, 10 rebounds, five assists a steal and a block in Thursday's 70-57 semifinal win over the Knights. In his career, Hannon now has 1,001 points and 551 rebounds - the ninth UST player in the 1,000-point/500-rebound club - and the Tommies are 87-10 in Hannon's 97 career games.
Thanks to its postseason conference championship, St. Thomas improved to 26-1 this season and a near-perfect 21-1 against MIAC opponents while capturing both the regular-season and Playoff titles. UST received the MIAC's automatic bid to the 2012-13 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament, and will enter the postseason as the top-ranked team in the nation. The Tommies open the tournament on their home floor, as they will host Aurora (22-6) at Schoenecker Arena in St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday.
MIAC Women's Basketball Athlete-of-the-Week
Kellie Ring, St. Thomas
Somerset, Wis. / Somerset
The St. Thomas women's basketball team won its second-straight MIAC Playoff championship last week, thanks to wins over No. 3 Saint Mary's in the semifinals and an upset of top-seeded Concordia in Saturday's title game. Leading the way for the Tommies was point guard Kellie Ring (Somerset, Wis./Somerset) who did a little bit of everything for UST on its run to the MIAC title. The senior averaged 13.5 points, 2.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while running the St. Thomas offense and assisting to the Tommies' defensive efforts. For her postseason performance, Ring was named the MIAC Women's Basketball Athlete-of-the-Week for the second time this season.
Ring started her Playoff run by putting up 11 points, five assists, two rebounds and one steal in 34 minutes in Thursday's 69-60 semifinal win over the Cardinals. She was even better in Saturday's championship upset of Concordia with a game-high 16 points to go along with two rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes of action. She went 3-for-5 from behind the arc, made two crucial free throws late and led a St. Thomas defense that held the Cobbers to just 18 second-half points. In her career, UST is 15-1 when Ring scored in double figures, and she has 88 steals in 27 games this season.
Thanks to Saturday's win, the Tommies improved to 22-5 overall this season, and they received the MIAC's automatic bid to the 2012-13 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament. Ring and her teammates return to the national tournament field after advancing to the Final Four a year ago. They'll open Division III postseason play Friday with a first-round game against Calvin (23-3) at the Small Multi-Sport Center in Mount Vernon, Iowa. The winner will face the winner of Cornell (24-1) and St. Scholastica (13-14) on Saturday in Mount Vernon for trip to the Sweet 16.