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Late surge sends Auggies past Men's Hoops

Sports Information photo by Taylor Casey
Sports Information photo by Taylor Casey

Booker Coplin's basket and free throws with :06 left capped his team's game-closing 11-2 run as visiting Augsburg shot down No. 5-ranked St. Thomas 88-86 in MIAC men's basketball play Saturday at Schoenecker Arena.

St. Thomas (21-2 overall, 17-1 MIAC) took its first conference loss, its first home defet, and had a 21-game win streak halted.

Coach John Tauer's Tommies has secured at least a share of the league championship, but they saw their MIAC lead shrink to two games over second-place St. John's (15-3 MIAC). The Johnnies host St. Thomas Wednesday night, then on Saturday St. Thomas finishes at St. Mary's and the Johnnies host Carleton.

Augsburg (17-6, 13-5) avenged a wild 112-105, three-overtime loss to the Tommies at home four weeks earlier. The Auggies knocked down eight treys in the first half here Saturday and led 49-45 at the break. They sank just one trey in the second half but were still able to rally in the end.

Coplin sat for much of the second half with foul trouble, then scored seven of his 21 points in the final 3:45 as the Auggies erased an 84-77 deficit.

Connor Bair finished with 26 points and 11 boards for the Tommies,. Michael Hannon scored 13 points, and Anders Nelson had nine rebounds. Hannon had a contested 3-point shot at the buzzer for the win bounce off the rim to preserve the Augsburg win.

Both teams shot near 48 percent, sank nine treys, and had only seven turnovers. Augsburg made 15-of-17 free throws and the Purple made 11-of-17. St. Thomas had a 27-17 edge in bench scoring.