Hamline took the initial lead in their first action since December
12, as Jordan Schmidt (Fy., Northbrook, Ill.) and Ray Brown (Sr., Saint
Paul, Minn.) opened the game with a pair of layups.
Wheaton twice held brief leads in the opening half, but the Pipers
were in control of the scoreboard by five points at the break, 35-30.
Brown and Schmidt started the Pipers off strong in the second half as
well, with Brown adding five points and Schmidt a jumper to vault
Hamline to a 12-point lead, 42-30, at 17:41.
As the second half progresses, a couple of Piper turnovers led to
Wheaton baskets, and the Thunder gained their first lead of the second
half with just under 10 minutes to play, 53-52.
Noah Aguirre (Fy., Fillmore, Calif.) tied the game for the fifth
time, 66-66, on a pair of free throws with 1:37 to play. Hipp (Jr.,
Little Canada, Minn.) then gave the Pipers a 67-66 lead with 1:01 on the
clock with a free throw of his own.
The Thunder had two points from the charity stripe to take a 68-67 lead with 40 seconds left in the game.
A pair of missed Thunder free throws with eight seconds to play kept
the Piper deficit at just one point. With 1.1 seconds to play, Hipp hit a
running right-handed layup for the game-winning basket and the upset of
the #8 team in the D3hoops.com national poll.
Hipp had a game-high 19 points and added nine rebounds and three
blocked shots in the win. Schmidt and Brown chipped in 11 points apiece
while Aguirre had 10. Schmidt also added nine assists.
The Pipers move to 4-4 overall with the non-conference win while the
Thunder are now 6-3. Hamline will now play the hosts, Cal Lutheran, in
the championship game on Wednesday, December 30, at 8:00 p.m.