Freshman guard Tyler Nicolai scored 19 points, including the go-ahead points with nine seconds to go in overtime, and the St. Thomas men's basketball team ended Winona State's 36-game home-court winning streak Saturday with an 83-82 win in Winona.
The Tommies pulled one of the biggest upsets in the 28-year head coaching era of UST's Steve Fritz. Last year's Warriors beat the Minnesota Gophers in an exhibition game and went on to finish 35-1 with a fluke one-point loss in the NCAA Division II championship game.
The Warriors (6-1) returned three of their top players and were ranked first in NCAA Division II. they NCAA champions two seasons back and placed second in 2006-07. They had won 63 of their last 64 games since January 2006.
Tommie sophomore Teddy Archer had all 10 of his points off the bench in the second half and in overtime and added five assists. His two free throws with one second left sent the game to overtime and capped an 8-3 run in the final 53 seconds of regulation. The Toms had a 26-19 edge in bench scoring to offset WSU's 20-9 advantage in free-throw points.
The unranked Tommies (3-1) hit 10 3-pointers and outrebounded the Warriors 41-35. They rallied from an 11-point deficit with 5:30 to play, a 10-point margin with 2:29 to go and a seven-point margin in the final 90 seconds.
Nicolai's trey with 1:36 left pulled UST within 71-64. Al McCoy made two free throws with 1:09 left to make it 71-66. Archer, B.J. Viau and Nicoli each made baskets to make it 75-73, and a late foul was called after a blocked shot and Archer converted both tries. There were six lead changes in overtime.
Sophomore guard Joe Scott had 16 points and seven rebounds; senior Lonnie Robinson and soph David Baker each scored eight points; and Viau had six points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
For Winona, Jonte Flowers had 24 points, John Smith had 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocks, and Quincy Henderson had 11 points and seven rebounds.
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