For 22 minutes, HU men's basketball coach Nelson Whitmore had the game he wanted. Playing aggressive defense and careful offense, Hamline had forged a 33-all tie with league favorite St. Thomas and had the crowd at Hutton Arena in an uproar.
But the Tommies took off on a 15-0 run and took the steam out of everybody en route to a much closer-than-the-final-score looked 80-59 victory. Hamline fell to 3-2 overall, 1-1 in the MIAC.
It was a big day for junior guard Tyler Pannell, who hit a pair of three-pointers to become just the fifth player in school history to reach 100 for his career. He led all HU scorers with fellow guard Victor Easter (pictured) adding 11 and Ryan Welsh contributing 10. The Pipers had their best day of the season at the free throw line (11-12) and held the Tommies' long distance shooters in check (1-12). But they were outrebounded 38-24 and ran into big foul trouble, getting called for 29 citations to the visitors' 15.
HU has little time to mull over what might have been. They get back at it Monday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m. against St. Mary's at Hutton. On Wednesday, December 5, they play their last pre-holiday game at Augsburg.
St. Thomas boxscore