The No. 10 ranked St. John’s University men’s basketball team claimed the MIAC title and secured a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament by defeating Augsburg University at home on Saturday night.

St. John’s got off to a slow start. While Augsburg hit nine of their first 13, the Johnnies only hit four of their first 17. SJU turned it around with a 26-9 run and a buzzer beater to take the lead 37-33 at the half.

In the second act St. John’s was outscored by only one point. The strong back-and-forth play continued and everything came down to the final seconds. A free throw make and miss put Augsburg to within three points of St. John’s. The Auggies forced the ball out on SJU to get it back, but the Johnnies blocked their buzzer beater three-point shot to tie. They won the championship 82-79.

Lucas Walford led the team with 22 points and tallied his 11th double-double of the season. Jubie Alade scored 20 points and earned his second career double-double. Zach Hanson put up 15 for the Johnnies, and David Stokman added 10.

Post-season for the Johnnies will resume in March with the NCAA DIII Tournament.