Two seniors and Cretin-Derham Hall graduates, John Nance (19 points, five assists) and Tommy Hannon (17 points, 11 rebounds), helped the No. 2-ranked Tommies break open a close game with visiting Gustavus en route to an 81-60 victory in Wednesday night's MIAC men's basketball play at Schoenecker Arena.
St. Thomas (13-0 overall, 8-0 MIAC) shot 53 percent from the floor and recorded only nine turnovers as it won its 21st game in its last 22. Conner Nord and Marcus Alipate each scored 10 points off the bench for UST, which had a 35-20 advantage in rebounding.
The Gusties (7-6, 4-4) pulled within 28-25, but an 8-0 Tommie run in the last 2:32 of the first half put UST ahead 36-25 at the break. Another 8-0 run in the first 90 seconds of the second half pushed the lead to 44-25.
Ben Biewen had 14 points for the Gusties, who had a four-game win streak halted. Gustavus shot 51 percent on the game and had only 13 turnovers but couldn't recover from the mid-game burst.
The Tommies, who have won four games in the last eight days, opened up a two-game lead over Concordia-Moorhea atop the conference standings.
St. Thomas is home Saturday to play St. John's in a 3:05 p.m., tipoff, a game televised live in the Twin Cities by Channel 45.
Click here for box score: http://www.d3hoops.com/seasons/men/2012-13/box_scores/20130109_tztt.xml