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Mustangs Slip Past Vikings With Late Basket

Matthew Brazendale, Augustana Vikings vs Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs
Greg Devereaux/Devereaux Photography

MARSHALL, Minn. – Southwest Minnesota State‘s Vinard Birch scored on a layup with nine seconds left in the game to lift the Mustangs to an 85-84 win over the Vikings on Friday night in Marshall. The Vikings had a chance to win the game but Matthew Brazendale‘s layup attempt fell short as time expired.

The game saw 14 tie scores and 11 lead changes and the Mustangs (3-4, 1-1 NSIC) were able to take the final lead as time was winding down. Augustana (4-4, 1-1 NSIC) led by as much as four twice in the final two minutes but was not able to keep the lead in the end.

Augustana finished the game matching its season-high with 13 3-pointers, connecting on 13 of 24 (54 percent) but was just 5 of 10 from the free throw line. Daniel Jansen finished with 20 points to lead the Vikings, recording his third 20-point performance of the season.

Senior Ben Shellim had the hot hand for the Vikings hitting 4 of 5 shots from 3-point range and finishing with a career-high 17 points.

SMSU controlled the rebounds in the game, grabbing 42 to just 28 for the Vikings. The Mustangs controlled the offensive glass grabbing 18 offensive rebounds.

The Mustangs finished the game 54 percent (34 of 63) from the field, including 6 of 12 from 3-point range. SMSU was led by William Giddings and Vinard Birch who each scored 18 points. The Mustangs had five players in double-figures as Matt Zager added 17 of 7 of 11 shooting.

Augustana jumped out to an eight point lead at 14-6 four minutes into the game behind the hot hand of Schilling who hit two shots from 3-point range on consecutive possessions. SMSU answered by going on a 14-6 run over the next five minutes and had one possession where they corralled six straight offensive rebounds to hold the ball for a minute and a half.

That sparked the Mustangs’ run and allowed them to tie the game at 20 with 9:40 to play in the half. Shaun Condon tied the game at 20 with a 3-pointer, scoring six straight points for SMSU.

Both teams played even over the next four minutes of the game each scoring 16 points, with the Vikings hitting three 3-pointers to play to a 36-36 tie with 5:31 left in the first half. SMSU went on a quick 6-0 run in just over a minute to go in front 42-36 on three straight points by Condon.

The Vikings got within three after Shellim converted a 3-point-play getting the basket and a foul to make the score 42-39. SMSU got its lead back to seven but Shellim was able to make it a three-point game, at 47-44, right before the half hitting a 3-pointer for his eighth first-half point.

Both teams shot well in the first half, with the Vikings going 18 of 32 (56 percent) from the field, including 7 of 12 (58 percent) from 3-point range.

SMSU dominated the glass in the first half, picking up 21 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive side of the court. The Mustangs were led by Zager’s 11 first-half points as he went 4 of 4 from the field, including 2 of 2 from 3-point range.

Jansen led the Vikings in scoring in the first half with 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting. Shellim and Schilling each added eight points for Augustana.

Augustana started off the second half going just 2 of 13 from the field over the first six minutes and but was able to keep it close as the Mustangs held a seven-point lead at 57-50 at the first media timeout of the half.

The Vikings responded by going on a 7-0 run over the next minute and a half after five straight points by Devin Gilligan and a fastbreak bucket by Adam Beyer. Gilligan grabbed an offensive board on a missed three and got the putback and the foul shot. Beyer’s basket tied the game at 57 with 11:51 to play in the game.

Shellim hit two straight 3-pointers on the Vikings next two possessions and was able to give Augustana a huge momentum swing and a 63-59 lead with 9:47 left. Jansen made it three straight 3-point field goals for the Vikings to give his team a 59-66 lead but SMSU followed with a 10-6 run to cut the Vikings’ lead to three at 72-69.

SMSU tied it at 72 with 4:37 to play in the game but Shellim buried his fourth 3-pointer of the night and was fouled on the shot to put the Vikings back in front 75-72.

SMSU’s Vinard Birch hit a layup with 10 seconds left in the game to give the Mustangs an 85-84 lead as the Vikings had a chance with a final possession. Brazendale got a great look on Augustana’s possession but his shot bounced off the back of the rim and out.

Augustana returns to Sioux Falls Saturday and will head just a few blocks down the road to take on the University at Sioux Falls at 6 p.m. at the Stewart Center.

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Courtesy:  Augustana College

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