Basketball Gameday: St. Olaf at St. John’s

MIAC men’s basketball

St. John’s (9-6 MIAC, 11-9 overall)

vs. St. Olaf (13-2 MIAC, 16-4 overall)

Game time: 3 p.m., Sexton Arena, Collegeville.

Broadcast: WBHR-AM 660.

About the Johnnies: St. John’s has won six of its past seven games and has climbed into a tie with Augsburg for fourth place in the MIAC standings.

The Johnnies beat Augsburg 83-71 Wednesday. Sophomore Mitchell Kuck, who missed time earlier in the season with a broken foot, has led the team in scoring the past two games off the bench. His older brother, Nathan, is a senior guard for St. Olaf.

St. John’s has forced 169 turnovers (14.1 per game) since the first of the year.

Johnnies coach Jim Smith said earlier this week that the hope was that sophomore Alex Schmitt, who is averaging a team-best 12.8 points per game, might be available to see at least some action, depending on if he was able to practice Friday. He has sat out the last three games after taking a blow to the side of his head in a win over Hamline on Jan. 29.

Starting lineup

PG – Kevin McKenzie (5-8, 155, Sr., De Pere, Wis.) 6.6 ppg 2.3 rpg

W – Patrick Butcher (6-0, 180, Sr., Louisville, Kent.) 10.3 ppg 2.3 rpg

W – Seth Marx (6-5, 215. Sr., Benilde-St. Margaret’s H.S.) 10.8 ppg 3.8 rpg

P – Joe Risinger (6-6, 175, So., Minnetonka H.S.) 7.6 ppg 3.6 rpg

P – Blake Maslonkowski (6-5, 225, Jr., St. Cloud Apollo H.S.) 9.0 ppg 6.3 rpg

About the Oles: St. Olaf is the hottest team in the conference, having won nine straight games. That included a 68-57 win over Concordia on Wednesday. Senior guard Connor Gunderson led the way with 18 points — crossing the 1,000-point mark in his collegiate career in the process.

He ranks fifth in the MIAC in scoring with an average of 15.3 points per game.

Starting lineup

G – Justin Pahl (6-4, 180, So., East Ridge H.S.) 9.7 ppg 2.0 rpg

G – Connor Gunderson (6-6, 200, Sr., Austin H.S.) 15.3 ppg 5.2 rpg

G – Josh Pratt (6-3, 195, Sr., St. Anthony Village H.S.) 5.2 ppg 2.3 rpg

G – Sterling Nielsen (6-1, 195, Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) 11.4 ppg 2.7 rpg

P – Matthew Hultgren (6-5, 205, Sr., Maple Grove H.S.) 4.1 ppg 2.8 rpg

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