#3 Xavier Patterson dashes ahead of Finlandia player.

Photo by Holden Law

Saint John’s pulled away from the UW-Superior men’s basketball team in the second half for a 67-45 victory in the championship game of the 11th annual Merrill Thompson Classic, sponsored by National Bank of Commerce.

The Yellowjackets trailed by a 34-23 margin at half[1]time before the Johnnies outscored UWS 33-22 in the second half on the way to the tournament title. Junior Xavier Patterson scored a team-high 10 points and classmate Josef Fahrenholtz grabbed 11 rebounds for the second consecutive game to lead UWS.

Superior was held to just 33.3 percent shooting, including 29 percent in the second half. Sophomore Josh Reinertsen cut the SJU advantage to 15-11 nine minutes into the game with a jumper, assisted by J’Vaun Walker.

Later, Eli Vogel hit a jumper in the paint to pull his team within 21-18. Saint John’s (2-0) gradually increased its advantage in the second half, leading by as many as 22 late in the game. Ryan Thissen paced the Johnnies with 18 points and eight rebounds. The Yellowjackets (1- 1) will host St. Norbert Saturday.

Tip off at Mertz Mortorelli Gymnasium is set for 1 p.m.