Men’s basketball beats Hamline, secures first-round bye

Senior Alex Healy helped drive the St. Thomas men’s basketball team to a 82-60 win over Hamline Wednesday at home, securing the Tommies a first-round playoff bye.

Healy said senior night was the inspiration behind his 19-point performance.

“It was senior night, and we got to protect our own on senior night,” Healy said.

Facing a strong MIAC rival, St. Thomas came out of the gate looking tough. The Tommies took an early lead in the first half, but slowly felt the Pipers’ pressure.

“We needed to go out and play hard for 40 minutes and not let them in,” Healy said.

Hamline’s defense helped the Pipers take the lead, but the Tommies came back with the help of senior Tyler Nicolai’s eight points in the first half.

With an overall 49.2 shooting percentage from the field, the Tommies took control of the lead for the rest of the game. St. Thomas finished the half with a 41-33 lead over Hamline.

In the second half, the two teams went back and forth offensively.

“We needed to go out and just play the same way,” coach Steve Fritz said.

After a Pipers’ timeout, the Tommies shot 63 percent from the field compared to Hamline’s 42.9 percent in the second half. St. Thomas’ largest lead was 23 points with 3:39 left in the game.

“It was a great game,” Fritz said. “It’s the same kind of game we will have for the rest of the season.”

The Tommies play their final regular-season game against St. John’s Saturday afternoon in Collegeville.

Dan Fastner can be reached at