Augustana Men Bounce Back At Moorhead While Women Fall

Viking Men Win 87-82, Women Lose 79-61

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Looking for a bounce-back win on the road, the Augustana men’s basketball team used an impressive performance on both ends of the court for an 87-82 win over Minnesota State Moorhead on Saturday.  Augustana improves to 12-6 (8-4 NSIC South) and snaps MSU Moorhead’s seven-game win streak. The Dragons drop to (14-6, 8-4 NSIC North).

Augustana, who picked up their first road win against the NSIC North, keeps pace in the conference and divisional standings. Midway through the year, the Vikings stand tied for second place and just a ½ game out of first place in the NSIC South.

The Vikings were led by another stout performance from Matt Cartwright. The sophomore finished with a game-high 23 points and 3 assists. Michael Schaefer showed his grit with 19 points and 9 rebounds, and A.J. Plitzuweit (17 points), and Trevor Hanson (13 points) also hit double-figures. Dylan LeBrun made his way to nine points and nine rebounds on the night.

Augustana head coach Tom Billeter, who now stands at 299 wins at Augustana, was pleased with his program’s performance tonight. “I’m proud of how our guys came back tonight,” Billeter said. “Moorhead did a good job down the stretch, but we made our free throws to hang on.” The Vikings finished with 28-of-34 (82 percent) from the line, compared to just 16-of-21 (76 percent) for MSU Moorhead.

The game would come down to final minutes in the second half. With Augustana leading 77-75, A.J. Plitzuweit hit a tough runner inside, and although MSU Moorhead answered with two free throws, Plitzuweit hit a par as well. Augustana got a stop on the defensive end and behind clutch free throws from Plitzuweit and Eric Tiedman, Augustana put the game on ice.

One of the game biggest difference was Augustana’s ability to control the glass. The Vikings finished with 42 total boards (+4), including 15 on the offensive end. Those 15 offensive rebounds helped the Vikings outscore the Dragon 20-5 in second-chance points.

Trevor Hanson started the scoring with a mid-range jumper, and from there, both sides traded buckets and free throws to tie the game up at 7-7.

The Dragons looked to take control moments later on a 10-3 run, but Schaefer snapped the run with a three from the left wing. On the next possession, Jameson Bryan hit a tough floater to make it five straight Viking points.

Now a 17-15 game at the 9:49 mark of the first half, Cartwright capped off a 7-0 run with a mid-range jumper. Minutes later, Hanson got to the free throw line and gave the Vikings a 20-19 lead.

Hanson made it five straight points with two buckets in the paint, and Augustana had pushed their lead to 24-20, the biggest of the night.

A.J. Plitzuweit got in the scoring column with a three off the glass, and following a trio of stops on the defensive end, Augustana had taken control with their biggest lead of the night at 31-24. By halftime, Augustana had jumped out a 33-24 advantage.

The biggest keys in the first half were Augustana’s defense, which limited the Dragons to just 29 percent (10-of-34) shooting from the field. MSUM came into Saturday averaging more than 80 points and shooting 50 percent from the field.

The Vikings also found success by getting to the free throw line, hitting 8-of-11 attempts. MSUM shot just one free throw in the first 20 minutes. Hanson led all players with nine points in the first half.

The Vikings continued to apply pressure to start the second half, and once again got back to the line with a pair of Hanson free throws. Cartwright hit double-digits with a jumper, and then thanks to a technical foul from Dragon coach Chad Walthall, also hit a pair of free throws.

With 16:12 left, Hanson pulled the trigger and connected from downtown to make a 45-35 game. Although Moorhead cut into the lead, the Vikings continued to answer. From Cartwright to Plitzuweit, Augustana continued to find the bottom of the net.

Cartwright continued to heat up, knocking down a pair of tough shot to push his total to 17 points. By the 10 minute mark of the second, Augustana had their biggest lead of the night at 61-49.

LeBrun continued to show his tenacity on both ends of the court. He missed a layup inside, but fought for the rebound and got the put back to go.

MSU Moorhead cut the deficit to 67-61, but LeBrun hit a big-time triple to push the lead back to nine points. Cartwright then scored on back-to-back possessions to push the lead back to double-digits.

The Dragons continued to fight down the stretch, but Plitzuweit and his teammates would not be denied. Augustana used big-time baskets and clutch free throw shooting to hold on for the win.

Overall, Augustana shot 43 percent (27-of-63), compared to 44 percent (29-of-66) for MSU Moorhead. Coming into Saturday, the Dragons were shooting nearly 52 percent from the field.

Augustana will now return to Sioux Falls for a pair of games next weekend. Augustana first takes on Concordia-St. Paul Saturday, Jan. 26 and finished the weekend with Minnesota State on Sunday, Jan. 27.

MOORHEAD, MINN. — Coming off a big win on Friday the Augustana women’s basketball battled but couldn’t make it back-to-back wins in a 79-61 loss to MSU Moorhead. The Vikings move to 17-4 (9-3 NSIC) and the Dragons go to 16-2 (12-0 NSIC).

Augustana was led  by Prosser. The Sturgis, S.D. native scored a career-high 25 points on 10-of-21 shooting and 5-of-9 from three-point land. Her previous high was 23 a season ago. Prosser also had three assists and a steal. Abby Hora also had nine points for Augustana.

The Vikings came out strong, but so did the Dragons. By the end of the 1st 10 minutes of action, the Vikings trailed 17-14. Leading the way was Lynsey Prosser with seven of the teams 14 points.

In the second quarter, less than three minutes in, a layup from Prosser pulled the Vikings within 26-16. However, the Dragons responded with a 17-12 run over the remainder of the first half to take control and enter the locker room up 34-29.

Following a tough third quarter, Augustana trailed  58-39 to open the fourth quarter. A three pointer from Prosser with 4:18 to play found the Vikings down 58-71, but that would be as close they would get the rest of the way.

Overall, the Vikings knocked down 23-of-60 from the field (38.3%). The Dragons were 28-of-66 (42.4%), and were led by Kiley Borowicz who dropped 37 points in the win.

Augustana heads back to Sioux Falls to take on Concordia-St. Paul Friday Jan. 26 and MSU Mankato on Saturday Jan. 27.

-Recap Courtesy AU Athletics

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