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Guards gun down Gusties in key road win for Men's Hoops

Sports Information Photo by George McGivern
Sports Information Photo by George McGivern

Sophomore guard Ryan Lindberg scored eight of his game-high 17 points during a late 26-5 Tommie run to lead No. 5-ranked St. Thomas to Monday night's 74-66 road victory at Gustavus.

St. Thomas (20-1 overall, 16-0 MIAC) rallied over the final 9:00 after falling behind 57-45. Coach John Tauer's team ran its season win streak to 20 and kept its three-game lead atop the conference standings with four games to play. St. Thomas has reached 20 victories for the 12th time in the last 14 seasons.

Riley Sharbono had 11 points and six rebounds to lead the Gusties (10-12, 7-10).

The Purple's 20-game win streak is second-best in NCAA men's basketball, one behind Division II Northwest Missouri State (21-0).

After losing 10 road games last season in a 14-12 finish, St. Thomas has won its last eight road games this winter while going 12-0 at home and a neutral court. The Toms have recorded four second-half comeback wins of nine or more points.

The Tommies had only eight turnovers and outscored Gustavus 33-6 from 3-point range. They knocked down 17-of-22 at the foul line, including 7-of-8 in the last minute.

The Purple received 51 points from four guards, all sophomore and freshmen -- Lindberg finished with 17; fellow soph Burt Hedstrom scored 11; freshman Riley Miller scored the go-ahead trey and closed with 13 points; and freshman Anders Nelson had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Toms -- who have already secured a first-round bye and top-two seed for the six-team MIAC playoffs -- play again Wednesday night at St. Olaf.