Junior guard Michael Hannon sank 5-of-7 from 3-point range and scored a game-high 23 points off the bench as the host Tommies won a showdown of MIAC men's basketball co-leaders Monday night with a 78-58 defeat of Bethel at Schoenecker Arena.
The Tommies (15-4 overall, 11-3 MIAC) have won six in a row and 11 of their last 12 games, including a 9-1 record to close out Janaury. St. Thomas leads Bethel (14-5, 10-4) by one game and St. John's (13-5, 9-4) by 1 1-2 games with six conference contests to play.
UST shot 52 percent from the field (33-of-63), outrebounded BU 38-27, and claimed a 35-14 advantage in bench scoring.
The host team used a 12-2 run to build a 30-19 lead with 6:11 to play in the opening half. The Tommies led 42-31 at halftime and started the second half on a 16-6 run to push the margin to 58-37.
The Tommies' Ryan Boll scored 15 points, Grant Shaeffer added 13 points and six assists, and Jordan Burich pulled down 14 rebounds.
Trevor Hall, Bridgeport Tusler and Tim Hanson each scored 10 points for Bethel. The Royals shot 55 percent in the first half (12-of-22) but made only 31 percent (9-of-29) after halftime.
St. Thomas is home Wednesday night to face Gustavus.