Nance, top-ranked Tommies edge Ole men
February 13, 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn.- John Nance scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds as No. 1 St. Thomas defeated the St. Olaf men's basketball team 62-57 on Wednesday night at Schoenecker Arena.
Nance was 6-for-9 from the field and made two out of three threes for St. Thomas (24-1, 19-1 MIAC). Will DeBerg added 10 points and nine rebounds, while Noah Kaiser came off the Tommie bench to contribute 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting.
St. Olaf (9-15, 8-11 MIAC) was led by Nathan Kuck's 10 points off the bench. Sterling Nielsen and Riley Aeikens each had eight points for the Oles. Connor Gunderson had a game-high 10 rebounds.
St. Thomas raced out of the gates to take an 11-2 lead in the first 4:45 of the game. Nance had seven of the 11 Tommie points during the run as he made his first three shots of the game. The Oles made just one of their first seven shots from the field.
After trailing 19-10, St. Olaf went on a 12-4 run to get within one with 3:19 left in the opening half. Aeikens had five points in 41 seconds for the Oles, as all 12 Ole points came from their bench. St. Thomas took a 28-24 lead into halftime after shooting 50.0 percent in the opening half.
St. Thomas upped their lead to nine at the 17:26 mark of the second half. DeBerg scored five quick points in the space of 18 seconds for the Tommies, who led by 12 with 5:42 to go.
Trailing 53-41 at that stage, the Oles cut the deficit to three with 1:48 to go with a 12-3 run. Kuck had eight of the 12 St. Olaf points in the run. St. Thomas missed six straight shots as they got all three of the points from the free throw line.
The Oles missed two threes in the closing 67 seconds that would have cut the Tommie lead to two if they had gone in. The Oles were 2-for-16 on threes in the game. St. Thomas were just 4-for-8 from the line down the stretch but held on for the win.
St. Thomas shot 45.7 percent for the game but was just 16-for-30 (53.3%) from the free throw line. St. Olaf finished shooting at a 34.0 percent clip but could not find their touch from behind the arc. The Oles were 19-for-25 (76.0%) from the charity stripe.
St. Olaf wraps up its season on Saturday when Saint John's visits the Skoglund Center. The Johnnies beat the Oles 75-61 in Collegeville on January 19. St. Olaf is eliminated from playoff contention while Saint John's must win to get in.