Forward Zach Riedeman’s 13 points and four assists pushed the Tommies past Macalester 92-53 Wednesday night at Schoenecker Arena.
The No. 1-ranked Tommies (11-0 MIAC, 16-0 overall) extended its regular season win streak to 21 games.
Macalester (1-9 MIAC, 4-11 overall) couldn’t control the Tommies or the ball, turning it over 22 times.
Guard Erik Tengwall left the floor early in the second half with an apparent lower-body injury. He did not return.
Coach John Tauer said the team’s depth has fueled its chemistry.
“They love playing with one another,” Tauer said. “The unselfishness and energy these guys play with, the way they make the extra pass… (they) really take a lot joy out of helping one another out on the court.”
Guard John Nance put the Tommies up early in the first half when he sank a 3-pointer to put his team ahead 5-0. Nance continued to give the Scots fits, adding a 3-point play later in the first half. Nance finished with 12 points on 5-6 shooting from the floor.
Guard Will DeBerg said the team knew if the team executed, it could control the outcome.
“We beat them by a lot last time,” DeBerg said. “We knew if we came out, did what we were supposed to, and got ahead of them early (that) we would be fine.”
The first half continued to showcase the Tommies’ control when guard Taylor Montero drove to the hoop and hooked in a shot to put his team up 35-18. Montero had 12 points off the bench for St. Thomas.
Riedeman, starting in place of the injured Noah Kaiser, propelled the Tommies, sinking a 3-pointer to put St. Thomas up 42-21. DeBerg hit a 3-pointer with seconds to spare in the first half to end the half with a 47-21 Tommie lead. St. Thomas shot 5-for-13 from 3-point range.
DeBerg said the core of returning players from last year’s squad has helped push the Tommies this season.
“We pretty much have the same team as last year,” DeBerg said. “Since we lost in the second round last year with the same group of guys, we’re hungry.”
St. Thomas carried over its hot shooting from the first half into the second frame. Guard Erik Tengwall sparked the Tommies and stole the ball to feed driving center Tommy Hannon for the easy layup. Hannon went a perfect 6-for-6 from the field, chipping in 12 points.
It wasn’t until Tengwall fell to an injury with 15:02 left in the game, that the Tommies had to do some lineup re-adjusting. Forward Jimmy Remke stepped up for the team driving to the hoop on a layup to put the Tommies up 82-44 with 6:50 remaining. The freshman went 3-for-3 from the field.
Remke said that it was great to step up and help the team out.
“I was happy to be out there,” Remke said. “I’ve been in a couple of games this year.”
The Tommies solidified the victory with a strong defensive rebound by forward Ryan Krueger with 0:23 left to secure another St. Thomas 39-point victory.
Coach Tauer said the team will continue its play strong at Concordia-Moorhead Monday.
“No matter who we play, I think they’re really focused on the game plan,” Tauer said. “Our goal every night is to do what we do well regardless of who the opponent is.”
Sean Crotty can be reached at email@example.com.