In a matchup of the 2015 and 2016 NCAA Division III champion programs, senior guard Grant Shaeffer scored a game-high 22 points and host St. Thomas (6-3) shot 52 percent from the floor in Wednesday night's 73-64 men's basketball victory over UW-Stevens Point (4-3) at Schoenecker Arena.
UST junior Ryan Boll added 19 points and senior Jordan Burich chipped in 10 points, 11 boards and three blocks for his second career double double. A first-year starter, Burich has collected 49 rebounds in his last five games.
Zack Goedeke had 17 points off the bench to lead the Pointers, who were coming off a two-point road win over nationally-ranked Hope. Mark Nelson scored 14 points and Ethan Bublitz added 13.
St. Thomas, the 2016 national champions, posted a 61-32 advantage in points from its starting five. The Toms raced to an 18-2 lead in the game's opening 6:02 and still led by 17 late in the first half.
The Pointers, who won the 2015 NCAA title, used a 22-12 mid-game run to pull within 53-46 with 9:24 to play. They were unable to get closer than five points, however, as Shaeffer scored 12 of his team's last 20 points over the final 9:24 to keep a cushion for the winners.
St. Thomas is off until a Jan. 2 game at Gustavus.