Sophomore Zach Riedeman scored 19 points, including a clutch 3-point basket that ignited a game-closing 9-0 run, as the top-seeded Tommies (21-6) pulled out a 66-62 overtime win over second-seed Gustavus (20-7) in Sunday's MIAC men's basketball playoff championship at UST's Schoenecker Arena.
Junior Will DeBerg added 17 points and junior John Nance chipped in nine rebounds for the Tommies, who advance to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. Pairings will be announced at 11 a.m. Monday.
St. Thomas won the playoff crown for the sixth time in seven years and a league-best 11th time overall. UST also extended its on-campus postseason win streak to 10.
The Tommies, who had just eight turnovers, take a seven-game win streak into the NCAA playoffs.
Tyler Grey had 19 points, Seth Anderson scored 16 and Paul Blacklock had 10 rebounds for the Gusties, who trailed throughout the first 39:37 of regulation. They trailed by 11 in the first half, 31-23 at halftime, and were still down 10 with 13:50 left.
Anderson's jumper with 23 seconds to play in the second half capped a 13-4 run and gave GAC its first lead at 55-54.
Nance made the second of two free throws with 14 seconds left in regulation to tie the score 55-55. Gustavus' last possession resulted in a turnover under the basket with :02 to go, to set up overtime.
In the extra session, Anderson drained a jumper and a 3-pointer to give the Gusties their biggest lead at 62-57 with 2:25 left. But Riedeman's 3-pointer with 1:58 remaining, and his two free throws with 35 seconds to go tied the game.
Sophomore Erik Tengwall stole the inbounds pass and made a layup -- his lone basket of the game -- to put St. Thomas ahead 64-62.
Sophomore Josh Pella had two steals and made 2-of-4 free throws late to lock up the win. Pella, who made his season debut Jan. 30 after an injury layoff, finished with eight points, six rebounds and two steals.