In Winona, the host Cardinals held a narrow lead for most of the first half. Down 26-21 with four minutes to play in the half, Kelzer drained a shot from outside the arc and then two layups to put Hamline up, 28-26.
A Saint Mary’s layup tied the game, before Kelzer drained another trey to regain a 31-28 lead with just under two minutes to the break. Nick Hutchinson (Sr., Atwater, Minn.) added a three-point play on a jumper and a free throw, helping the Pipers carry a 34-32 lead into the locker room.
Four minutes into the second half, Saint Mary’s took control of the scoreboard, 38-37, in their own gym, leading the game until just under ten minutes remained in the game.
The teams exchanged a series of ties and one-point leads over the next two minutes, but the Cardinals took the lead with eight minutes on the clock and held it until the final buzzer.
In addition to Kelzer’s 22 points, Carl Hipp (So., Little Canada, Minn.) and Levi Wenrich (Fy., Newhall, Calif.) tallied 11 each. Hipp also pulled down nine rebounds (two offensive, seven defensive).
Hamline dropped to 3-8, 2-5 MIAC with the conference loss, while the Cardinals improved to 3-9, 2-5 MIAC. The Pipers return home to Hutton Arena on Saturday, January 10, to host conference opponent Gustavus. Their game will be the 3:00 p.m. tip-off in a women’s-men’s double-header.