Basketball Teams Finish Impressive Season

Hayden Audette, staff writer

Although neither of the Augsburg basketball teams ended their season with MIAC tournament titles, the season was still a complete success for both teams. The mens team finished in second place in the conference in the regular season behind St. John’s, and the womens team finished their regular season at the top of the standings and secured the #1 seed in the conference tournament. This season also included remarkable starts to MIAC play, with the men’s team starting 11-0 and the women’s team starting 13-0. With success like that, it’s not a surprise that the Auggies were well represented in the end of season conference awards. 

On the mens side, Joe Palmer won MIAC Player of the Year, and deservedly so. Palmer averaged 21 points and nine rebounds on the season, and both of these marks led the conference. Rayquan Moore joined him in the individual awards, winning Sixth Man of the Year. Moore had an incredible year off the bench for the Auggies, averaging eight points and three rebounds per game. 

On the women’s side, the MIAC Player of the Year award went to Augsburg’s Jen Masello. Masello averaged over 14 points and eight rebounds per game, becoming the first Augsburg womens player to ever win Player of the Year. Anja Smith won Sixth Player of the Year, averaging over 17 points and six rebounds on the season. Smith also set a school record for points in a game after she dropped 39 against St. Benedict on Feb. 12th. As if sweeping the Player of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year awards weren’t enough, both teams also had 6 players receive all-MIAC honors, and womens head coach Ted Riverso was named Coach of the Year.

As incredible as the 2021-22 season was for Augsburg basketball, there is reason to believe that next year will be just as good, if not better. Of the six Auggies on each team to receive all-MIAC honors, three of the men’s players and four of the women’s players will be able to return next year. This means that most of the players who were key to this year’s unbelievable seasons may get another shot at the MIAC championship in the 2022-23 season. Although they both obviously would have liked to accomplish that this year, Augsburg’s basketball teams have to be feeling pretty good about their chances to repeat this year’s success all over again. It would be impressive to see them pull that off, because this season was truly special. To have both teams have exciting years and basically mirror each other for most of the season was an absolute blast to watch and something that Augsburg can be proud of.