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McCaffery's Buzzer Beater Lifts Augie Past Mankato



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MANKATO, Minn. – Cameron McCaffery's three-pointer with one second remaining in overtime broke a 79-79 tie and gave Augustana an 82-79 win over No. 7 Minnesota State.  The Vikings' win gives them a 14-4 overall record and a 10-4 mark in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Mavericks suffer only their second loss of the season and are 16-2 overall, 12-2 in the NSIC.

The Vikings' upset victory is their first over a ranked opponent since Augustana took down No. 13 St. Cloud State 74-52 on Jan. 28, 2012.  The Vikings also own a 22-18 record in overtime with their last overtime win coming against Bemidji State, 103-93, on Jan. 7, 2012.

McCaffery used a Daniel Jansen screen to find an open shooting spot on the right wing before firing a three that fell through the bottom of the net with just one second left in overtime. 

McCaffrey finished with a game-high 25 points on 11-22 shooting including a 2-5 showing from three. The Portland, Ore. native scored 19 of the Vikings' last 26 points, including 14 of the last 16 in regulation.

Augustana had a chance to win the game with the ball and the shot clock turned off, but McCaffrey's three-point attempt was off the mark. 

Minnesota State started the extra period with five straight points, but McCaffrey answered with a layup and Zach Huisken drilled both of his free throws to make it a one-point game, 77-76.  Alex Richter then hit a three after grabbing a rebound on the other end to give the Vikings their first lead of overtime. 

Assem Marei hit two free throws for the Mavericks to tie the game at 79-79, setting McCaffrey up for his second career game-winning shot in the Taylor Center. 

Augustana shot 54.8 percent from the field with 14 assists and placed four Vikings in double digits for scoring.  Richter finished with 14, including two three-pointers, and Jansen and Yuriy Malashenko each poured in 13 points.

The first half began with both teams jostling for the upper hand and in just over nine minutes there were two ties and four lead changes.  Joe Burt hit a three with 7:38 remaining in the first and Jansen followed with one of his own. 

The Vikings held onto that cushion for several minutes then Malashenko and Richter hit consecutive jumpers and Augustana owned an 11-point lead.  Richter hit a pair of free throws and the Vikings held the largest lead of the game, up 35-22.  MSU's Zach Monaghan hit a three and the Vikings took a 35-25 lead into the intermission.

To open the second half, seven straight points from the Mavericks erased Augustana's double-digit lead and head coach Tom Billeter took a timeout, clinging to a three-point lead, 35-32.

The Vikings' lead slowly dwindled and Minnesota State's Zach Romashko hit a three-pointer at the 10:56 mark to give the Mavericks their first lead of the second half, a 53-52 edge.  Huisken and Evan Pierce scored for Augustana but the Mavericks had an answer each time.  Then McCaffrey emerged from his scoring slump to lead the Viking charge.

McCaffrey hit a layup followed by a jumper and Augustana led by three, 60-57, but MSU wouldn't stay down.  A second-chance bucket and a jumper by Minnesota State were answered by McCaffrey's first three-pointer of the game.

Converting a layup through contact and the ensuing free throw, McCaffrey gave Augustana a 66-61 with 5:40 remaining in the game.   Connor O'Brien answered back with an and-one of his own. O'Brien then made a layup to tie the game at 66-66. 

McCaffrey hit a jumper and Richter followed suit with a jumper of his own off a Jansen steal.  The Vikings were up four but the Mavericks tied it back up with consecutive buckets.

McCaffrey's layup with just under a minute remaining gave Augustana an edge, but Jarvis Williams converted a lay-in of his own to knot the score at 72-72. McCaffrey's errant three-point shot at the buzzer set up overtime where he would become the hero once again.

Augustana returns home next weekend, welcoming Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State.

-Courtesy Augustana Athletics
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