Exhale: Furious comeback saves Men's Hoops

Photo by Haley Staffon
Photo by Haley Staffon

Sophomore Connor Bair's tip in with :02 left in overtime capped a game-closing 9-0 run in the final 3:00 of overtime as visiting St. Thomas escaped Carleton with a 62-61 win Saturday in MIAC men's basketball play.

The Tommies (9-3 overall, 5-2 MIAC) won their third MIAC road game in six days -- all without injured senior point guard Grant Shaeffer. UST pushed its win streak to five and stayed one game behind first-place Bethel tied for second with Hamline.

UST overcame two strong performances by the Knights: Kevin Grow had 19 points and 25 rebounds, and Kent Hanson scored a game-high 22 points.

The Toms also survived 37 percent shooting from the floor and 61 percent shooting from the line. They had just 11 turnovers while getting a 24-9 edge in bench points.

Carleton rallied from seven down late in the second half. Both teams missed a go-ahead shot late in regulation, the Knights with 13 seconds to go, UST with :03 left.

Carleton used a basket, a 3-pointer and a conventional 3-point play in a 8-0 run to start overtime with 61-53 lead with 3:11 left.

UST answered with two free throws by Michael Hannon with 2:54 left and a Jordan Burich layin with 1:34 to go to pull within four.

Tommie sophomore G.T. Johnson sank his only shot of the day -- and his first collegiate 3-pointer -- with 42 seconds to go in overtime to cut the Knights' lead to 61-60.

Carleton missed two free throws, then after a UST missed shot turned it over with 10 seconds left.

John Veil's shot with :04 to go missed but Bair rebounded and scored the go-ahead putback. After a timeout, Carleton missed a desperation shot.

Veil led the Toms with 14 points, four assists and four rebounds, and Ryan Boll had 10 points and 10 boards. Freshman Elijah Hannah scored 10 and Bair added nine points off the bench.

The Toms play Wednesday at home against St. Olaf.