Junior Elijah Hannah scored 11 of his team-high 13 points after halftime and No. 7-ranked St. Thomas rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to edge No. 13-ranked St. John's in overtime, 74-72, in MIAC men's basketball play Monday night before a packed house at Schoenecker Arena.
Colton Codute made a pair of 3-pointers in overtime for the Johnnies, but his trey attempt as time expired bounced off the rim to let the host Tommies hold on. St. John's also missed a potential game-winning shot as time elapsed at the end of regulation.
St. Thomas (15-1 overall, 11-0 MIAC) opened up a two-game lead in the conference race and ended a three-game losing streak to St. John's. The Johnnies (13-3, 9-2) have dropped two road games in three days by a combined five points.
The Purple had only seven turnovers, shot 42 percent from the field, and made nine treys and it ran its season victory streak to 15. It's one away from the longest win streak of the eight-season John Tauer coaching era. The Tommies have had three 16-game win streaks under Tauer, the last achieved by the 2015-16 NCAA champion team which won 16 in a row in a midseason stretch.
David Stokman and Zach Hanson each scored 17 points to lead the Johnnies, and Lucas Walford aded 12 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. SJU shot 58 percent in the first half but just 36 percent thereafter.
|St. John's David Stokman walks off dejected after the Johnnies' last-second shot missed, while the St. Thomas team celebrates in the background.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com
The Purple had only seven turnovers, shot 42 percent from the field, and made nine treys and it ran its season win streak to 15. It's the second longest win streak of the eight-season John Tauer coaching era -- the Tommies' 2015-16 NCAA champion team won 16 in a row in a mid-season stretch.
St. John's built an early 22-14 lead. The Tommies closed the first half on a 7-2 run as Michael Hannon's 3-pointer at the buzzer cut the SJU halftime lead to 36-35.
Walford had three dunks in a second-half stretch as the Johnnies moved ahead 51-40 with 14:05 to play, but St. John's went more than six minutes before it scored again. Hannah, Hedstrom and Madison helped the Tommies chip away at the lead, and the game was tight thereafter.
Tommie freshman guard Anders Nelson, who came in averaging 17 points a game, was limited to four points over the game's first 43:45. But Nelson sank two free throws with 1:15 left in overtime to erase the last SJU lead, then after a Johnnie miss, Nelson drained a jumper with 38 seconds to go for a 73-71 lead.
SJU's Hanson made one of two free throws, and Hannah for the Tommies made one of two to move the score to 74-72 with 23 seconds to go. After a time out, the Johnnies worked the perimeter and gambled on a game-winner but the shot didn't fall.