Saint Mary’s basketball and hockey on HBC for 2015-16

The Saint Mary’s winter sports schedule will feature nine broadcasts between the hardwood and the ice beginning in mid-November.

SMU will begin a new era for the women’s basketball program, as two-time MIAC Coach of the Year Mandy Pearson departed for Minnesota Duluth, opening the door for new coach Brent Pollari. Over the past eight seasons, Pollari served as an assistant coach for Northern State, North Dakota and Minnesota State.

Pollari helped Minnesota State make a Division II national tournament appearance a year ago, and the season prior, helped North Dakota earn its first ever berth in the Division I national tournament.

The first-year coach inherits a team which won 18 games in 2014-15, has emerged victorious in at least one MIAC playoff game in each of the past four seasons and returns key contributors such as explosive guards Bridget Pethke and Emma Schaefer.

For men’s hoops, coach Jameson Rusthoven led the team to a one-game improvement over his first season at the helm, and has his top three scorers and rebounders (Wylie Ferron, Mark Schumacher and Will Swiggum) back for this year’s schedule.

Both hockey programs qualified for the MIAC playoffs last March, with the men skating all the way to the conference title game.

MIAC Coach of the Year Bill Moore’s squad made its first appearance in the MIAC postseason since 2003-04, led by Martin Gruse, who paced the league in scoring with 38 points and tied for first with 19 goals. The Cardinals also return Bob Kinne (second on the team with 22 points), Chad Cesarz (fifth in the MIAC with 13 goals) and Phil Heinle in net, who made 63 saves in the playoffs.

The women’s hockey program returns Kassie Lien and McKenna Parent, who combined for 25 points last year for a team that hosted a playoff game. And MIAC Coach of the Year Terry Mannor has a tremendous tandem between the pipes with Tori Herrmann and Marah Shields, who teamed for a 2.19 goals against average.

For the full broadcast schedule, please see the rundown below:

MEN’S BASKETBALL

December 16

v. Carleton 5 p.m. (71-48, Carleton)

January 16

v. St. Thomas 1 p.m. (91-61, St. Thomas)

February 17

v. Hamline (Senior Night) 7 p.m. (74-61, Saint Mary’s)

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

November 4

at Winona State (exhibition) 7 p.m. (90-68, Winona State)

December 16

v. Carleton 7:30 p.m. (85-47, Saint Mary’s)

January 16

v. St. Thomas 3 p.m. (76-67, St. Thomas)

February 25 (MIAC semifinal)

v. Gustavus Adolphus 7 p.m. (78-70, Saint Mary’s)

MEN’S HOCKEY

January 8

v. St. Thomas 7 p.m. (4-3, Saint Mary’s)

January 25

v. Hamline 12 p.m. (as and Extra Point replay) (5-3, Saint Mary’s)

WOMEN’S HOCKEY

November 13

v. Bethel 7 p.m. (4-2, Bethel)

January 30

v. Augsburg 2 p.m. (3-1, Saint Mary’s)

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