HU coach Nelson Whitmore got the rebounding game he wanted Saturday. But St. John's made shots from an area where rebounding didn't help and held the Pipers off for a 78-71 decision Saturday afternoon at Hutton Arena. Dior Ford had another productive offensive day with a team high 18 points and eight his team's 35 rebounds. (SJU had just 24). But the Johnnies converted 22 of 28 free throws, many of them in the game's waning minutes to tilt the game their way.
In addition to Ford, three other Pipers (Tyler Pannell 15 , Noah Aguirre 13 and Mike Campbell 11) finished in double figures. But the combination of SJU free throws and 14 HU turnovers was too much to overcome.
To make matters worse, C Charlie Choiniere suffered a bruised shoulder in the first half and only saw three minutes of action.
HU led early but SJU regained the lead, 29-26, with three minutes left in the half. The Johnnies stretched it to 33-28 by the break. Al Tillman hit a jumper with 12:54 left to give HU a 42-41 lead but a three-pointer put SJU ahead for good with 12:28 left. The lead stretched to nine points with 4:18 left. Hamline got as close as four points but the Johnnies hit the shots they needed from the line.
Hamline slips back under .500 at 5-6 overall and is an even 3-3 in the conference.
The Pipers are off until Wednesday when Concordia visits Hutton Arena on the tail end of doubleheader.
Box Score Here