On-deck: Saint Mary’s basketball doubleheader
The Saint Mary’s basketball teams will host Carelton in a doubleheader on Wednesday, live from Saint Mary’s Gym and broadcast on HBC.
The SMU men (4-2, 2-1 MIAC) will look to remain undefeated at home (3-0) in the first game, and have been playing very well to start the season.
The Cardinals men lead the league in assists per game (16.8) and rank third in rebounds at 37.5 per contest.
Wylie Ferron continues to pace the conference in field goal percentage, knocking down 22 of 29 attempts (75.9 percent), while Will Swiggum is fourth with 8.5 rebounds per.
Connor Kaiser leads the team with 16.2 points per game, and Quashingm Smith-Pugh has been solid across the board for SMU, scoring 11.7 points with 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per outing. Smith-Pugh has also been effective at getting to the free throw line, attempting 38 from the charity stripe already this season, converting on 27 (71.1 percent).
Kaiser (13-for-31) and Braden Walbeck (7-for-16) have combined to knock down 42.5 percent of their 3-point field goal tries through six games.
The Saint Mary’s men have won two in a row, including a 68-65 win over Augsburg that saw the team overcome a 14-point deficit in the second half on December 9.
Carleton (5-2, 2-0) are the last team with an unbeaten record in the MIAC despite scoring just 69.4 points per game, but have won three straight, the last two of which came on the road against UW-River Falls and St. Thomas.
Kevin Grow leads the team with 15.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, while Tianen Chen scores 14.9 and Mitchell Biewen goes for 13.3 per. Biewen has been dangerous from beyond the arc, hitting 51.4 percent of his long-range shots (18-for-35) for the Knights.
Though Carelton doesn’t score a lot of points, they are a solid from the floor, currently ranked second in the MIAC at 49.1 percent (180-for-363) for the season.
The Saint Mary’s women’s team have won its first seven, four of which have come by 11 points or more. The Cardinals have an average margin of victory of 16 thanks largely to a 54-point drubbing of Crown College on November 21.
SMU (7-0, 3-0) most recently outscored Augusburg 25-10 in the fourth quarter to remain undefeated on December 9.
The Cardinals lead the MIAC in points per game (75) and defensive points per game (58.7), and also rank first for 3-point field goal percentage (40.3) and rebounds per game (42.3), and third for field goal (42.9) and free throw percentage (75.8).
Micaela Meredith leads the team with 15.6 points per game, and is shooting 87.5 percent from the free throw line (42-for-48). Brandi Blattner is second on the squad with 13.4 points per game and leads the MIAC with 9.6 rebounds per, and Emma Schaefer is scoring 10.1 points per game and leads the league for 3-point field goal shooting at 58 percent (18-for-31).
Bridget Pethke is having a strong all-around campaign, with 8.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 3 steals per game. The SMU point guard is also shooting 86.7 percent from the free throw line (13-for-15) and leads the team with 210 minutes.
Carleton (3-6, 0-3) have lost three of its last four, including a 59-45 defeat at the hands of St. Catherine on December 9.
Anne Hamilton leads the Knights with 11.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while Maya Okamoto has been terrific from beyond the arc, connecting on 11 of 21 of her attempts from 3-point range (52.4 percent).
Pregame for the men’s game begins at 4:45, with the women’s game to follow at 7:30 p.m., only on TV 25!