Men's basketball: Tommies' latest win is one of Fritz's best

  • Article by: JOEL RIPPEL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 27, 2007 - 11:00 PM

Steve Fritz has directed the St. Thomas men's basketball team to nearly 500 victories in 28 seasons as coach.

Of his 491 victories, the most recent is one of his most memorable.

The Tommies, who opened the 2007-08 season by winning two of their first three games, improved to 3-1 with an 83-82 overtime victory over Winona State in Winona, Minn., on Saturday.

The loss was the first of the season for the Warriors, who were ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division II preseason poll. The loss ended a 36-game home winning streak for the Warriors and was only the second in their past 65 games.

Winona State reached the Division II championship game the past two seasons, including winning it in 2006.

The Tommies, who were picked third in the MIAC preseason poll, went into this season with several key spots in their lineup to fill. The Tommies graduated four starters from last year's 24-4 team, including two-time All-America center Isaac Rosefelt and MIAC career three-point leader Bryan Schnettler.

Sophomore guard Joe Scott, a DeLaSalle graduate who played last season at Colorado-Colorado Springs, and freshman point guard Tyler Nicolai, who played at Hopkins High School, have paced the Tommies. Scott is averaging 14.5 points per game and Nicolai is averaging 11.

Fritz, who has a career record of 491-234, has had only had one losing season as the Tommies coach. The Tommies have won 12 MIAC titles under him.

Wilkinson honored

Gustavus Adolphus men's tennis coach Steve Wilkinson has been named the national winner of the United States Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Campus Recreation Award.

Wilkinson, who is in his 38th year as the Gusties coach, will be honored Dec. 15 at the ITA Coaches Convention in Naples, Fla.

The award is given to a coach who has done an outstanding job implementing the USTA's Tennis on Campus program or similar recreational tennis programs in an effort to grow tennis participation within the campus community.

Etc.

• The Concordia (St. Paul) volleyball team will play California (Pa.) in the first round of the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in Topeka, Kan., at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The Golden Bears, making their third trip to the Elite Eight in the past five seasons, are 33-4. California (Pa.) is 35-4. The other teams competing are West Texas A&M, Grand Valley State, Tampa, Washburn, Dowling and Western Washington.

• St. John's quarterback Alex Kofoed has been selected to play in the Aztec Bowl in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Dec. 8. The game features a Division III all-star team against the Mexican National team.

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