You can go ahead and call Rachel Booth “Scrooge.”
Hamline entered the game needing a win to get into the postseason, but after 35 points from the St. Thomas junior in a 77-69 Tommie win, the Pipers’ season was ended. Hamline had no answer for the St. Thomas center, who torched the Pipers down low and racked up eight rebounds and four blocks.
“Definitely one of the highest scoring games I’ve had,” Booth said. “Probably ever.”
Hamline got strong performances from freshman Tromesa May and junior Mary Wilkowski in the post, but neither player could put a stop to Booth. May finished with 15 points and Wilkowski with 12. Both players played with four fouls for the final 7:30, and Booth took advantage as the Tommies pulled away late.
“We communicated really well [in the second half],” sophomore Jordyn Sears said. “And obviously Rachel was outstanding.”
The Pipers played St. Thomas to a tie at halftime, but the Tommies jumped ahead with a quick 7-0 run to open the second half and never gave back the lead. Hamline battled back throughout the second half to tie the game, but was never able to recapture the lead.
St. Thomas stretched its lead to eight with 3:35 to play and made free throws down the stretch to hold off the Pipers. The Tommies finished 17 of 21 at the free-throw line, including 10 of 12 from Booth.
Hamline finished the game with five players in double-digits scoring and Sears was the only Tommie to join Booth in double-digits. Sears finished with 13, but Booth seemed to be all St. Thomas needed to play the role of spoiler on the road.
“It’s a tough spot to come into and play,” Sears said. “They always play really well here and give us a tough time.”
St. Thomas was up to the task though and closed its regular season on a high note. With the win, St. Thomas finishes the regular season with a 16-7 conference record, which gives it a five seed in the postseason tournament. The Tommies will play on the road at Macalester in the first round.
“They’ve got two good post players, so we’ll try to stop their post game, but we’ve played them twice already so we know what they do,” Booth said. “It’s just a matter of going out there and executing.”
St. Thomas and Macalester tip off at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22.
Jordan Osterman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.