The last time Northwestern (Roseville) faced an MIAC team in the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament, the Eagles won on a buzzer-beater.
No such heroics were needed this time.
Tanner Youngberg scored 21 points, Caleb Hageman had 18 and Northwestern beat host St. John’s 93-78 in the tournament’s opening round Friday.
Northwestern (22-6), the UMAC tournament champion for the eighth time in nine years, earned its first NCAA victory since making the Sweet 16 in 2015. In the first round that year, the Eagles won at St. Thomas on a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Friday, though, the Eagles dominated the eighth-ranked Johnnies (23-5) in the second half, when they shot 62.1 percent from the floor. Northwestern took a 10-point lead with 14:32 left, and that lead never fell below nine the rest of the way.
David Stokman scored 20 points for St. John’s but shot 8-for-24 from the floor.
On Saturday, Northwestern will play Wisconsin-Oshkosh (24-3), an 86-62 winner over Lake Forest (Ill.).
St. Thomas 80, Wisconsin-La Crosse 66: Ryan Lindstrom hit six three-pointers and scored 24 points as the Tommies (23-4) beat the Eagles (17-10) in Lincoln, Neb.
The Tommies (23-4) play host Nebraska Wesleyan on Saturday. The Wolves, the defending D-III champion, improved to 27-1 with a 101-75 victory over Eureka.
Division III women
St. Thomas 88, Ripon 58: Hannah Spaulding had 29 points and 10 rebounds and the Tommies (27-1) opened the NCAA tournament with a dominating home victory over the Red Hawks (19-9).
Spaulding, a senior center, shot 10-for-16 from the floor and 8-for-10 from the free-throw line. Kaia Porter added 17 points and Brynne Rolland 13 for St. Thomas.
St. Thomas will play Wisconsin Lutheran (27-1), a 48-40 winner over Illinois Wesleyan, on Saturday.
Wartburg 91, Bethany Lutheran 63: The host Knights (25-3) routed the Vikings (22-6). Bethany Lutheran, located in Mankato, was making its first NCAA tournament appearance.
The Bemidji State basketball teams, which went a combined 14-38 this season, will be in action this weekend when the NSIC men’s and women’s tournament quarterfinals in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Beavers women, who improved to 6-21 by beating top-seeded Concordia (St. Paul) 73-70 on Wednesday for their first NSIC tournament victory since 2004, play St. Cloud State in the third of four quarterfinals Saturday at the Sanford Pentagon.
The Beavers men won at Minnesota State Mankato on Wednesday to improve to 10-17. Sunday, they play Southwest Minnesota State, which beat Minnesota State Moorhead in the first round.