Augustana’s Big Second Half Busts Bemidji

Viking Men Win 78-60

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Augustana University men’s basketball out-scored Bemidji State 46-26 in the second half on its way to a 78-60 win over Bemidji State University (9-14, 7-11 NSIC) in front of 2,844 fans at the Sioux Falls Arena on Saturday night. Augustana (17-7, 12-6 NSIC) had two players put up 20-plus points, led by Adam Beyer who finished with 22 on 8 of 12 shooting, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.

Mike Busack recorded his second straight double-double finishing with 21 points and a career-high tying 14 rebounds.

Jordan Spencer nearly recorded a double-double for the Vikings, putting up 15 points and nine assists. Zach Huisken added nine points and six rebounds while John Warren put up four points and a career-high five steals.

Augustana finished the night shooting 48.5 percent (32 of 66) from the field, including 9 of 22 from 3-point range. The Vikings shot just seven free throws in the game, finishing 5 of 7 from the stripe as a team.

Augustana out-rebounded Bemidji State 37-29 and was able to produce 19 points off of 12 BSU turnovers. Bemidji State shot 41.8 percent (23 of 55) from the field and was led by Jai’Vionne Green who scored 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting.

Augustana started the night 3 of 6 from the field and the Vikings and Beavers played to a 7-7 tie through the first 4:31 of the contest. Bemidji State then went on a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to take an eight-point lead of 17-9 nearing the midway point of the half.

Adam Beyer took over for the Vikings scoring seven points during a 9-1 Augustana run tying the game at 18 all with a jumper. Beyer then answered a BSU 3-pointer with one of his own to tie the game again at 21 before the Beavers were able to gain a five-point lead at 28-23 with 3:17 to go in the half.

Beyer knocked down his second 3-pointer of the night with 1:07 to play in the half tying the game at 32. BSU’s Jai’Vionne Green scored with 41 seconds left giving his team a 34-32 lead which would hold at the half.

Augustana finished the first half shooting 41.2 percent (14-34) from the field, including 2 of 8 from behind the arc. Beyer finished the first half 6 of 9 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. He also knocked down both of Augustana’s free throw attempts.

Bemidji State was 15 of 28 (53.6 percent) from the field in the first half and had four players with five or more points. Green led BSU with 10 first half points on 5 of 8 shooting.

Mike Busack came out firing on all cylinders in the second half scoring 10 straight points for the Vikings helping Augustana overcome a halftime deficit and build a six point lead of 42-36 after he hit back-to-back 3-pointers.

Green scored four straight for the Beavers and Christian Pekarek hit a 3-pointer and 3:26 later The Vikings and Beavers were tied for the eighth time on the night, this time at 46 with 14:15 to play.

Steven Schaefer gave the Vikings a 53-48 lead with a 3-pointer and after taking a quick breather, Busack re-entered the game and knocked down his third triple of the game stretching Augustana’s lead to eight at 56-48 with 10:36 to play forcing BSU to burn a timeout.

The Vikings kept the pressure on and continued to build on the lead. Augustana knocked down 5 of its next 7 field goal attempts building a 16-point lead of 69-53 with just under five minutes to play.

Augustana dazzled the crowd in the final four minutes after Busack came out of nowhere down the middle of the lane to get a rebound and a putback before Spencer dished the ball around the court, ending with an over-the-head pass to a trailing Beyer, who knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the night give the Vikings a 23 point lead.

Augustana will play its final regular season road games next weekend. The Vikings will play at USF at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10 before traveling to Marshall, Minnesota to take on Southwest Minnesota State at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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