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No. 20 Minnesota State Slips Past Augustana 84-77

Ben Shellim, Augustana Vikings
Gene Smith/Augustana College

MANKATO, MN — No. 20 Minnesota State shot 56 percent from the field and got to the free throw line 27 times in an 84-77 win over Augustana on Friday night in Mankato, Minn. The Vikings (10-7, 7-4 NSIC) got within five with just under six minutes to play but the Mavericks (15-3, 9-2 NSIC) pulled away in the final minutes of the second half.

Casey Schilling led all players with 19 points on 8 of 10 shooting and was followed by a career-high 15 points from freshman Devin Gilligan. Schilling matched his career-high with five assists in the game. The Vikings, who hit seven 3-pointers in the first half, finished the game 10 of 25 from outside and shot 48 percent from the field.

Augustana finished the game shooting 76 percent (13 of 17) from the free throw line as Ben Shellim finished the game hitting a career-high 6 of 6 from the stripe. Minnesota State got to the line 26 times in the contest, hitting 65 percent of their free throws (17 of 26).

Assem Marei led Minnesota State with 18 points and nine rebounds while Connor O’Brien added 15 points and eight boards. Zach Monaghan added 12 points and 11 assists while hitting 7 of 9 free throws on the night.

The Vikings trailed by as much as 13 in the second half but were able to cut the lead to single digits with two minutes to play.

Augustana started off the game 5 of 9 from the field, knocking down 4 of 7 3-pointers in the first five minutes of the first half to build a 14-12 lead at the first media timeout. Guske got the Vikings off to a fast start, knocking down 3-pointers on the team’s first two possessions of the night.

The Vikings came out of the media timeout and went on a quick 6-0 run, capped off by their fifth 3-pointer of the first half by Yuriy Malashenko, to take a 21-12 lead. Minnesota State used that as fuel and scored the game’s next nine points to tie the game at 21 with 9:33 remaining in the first half.

The Mavericks extended their run to 18-4 over the next four and a half minutes to take a 30-25 lead after a dunk by O’Brien. Jansen brought Augustana back within one at 31-30 after he hit Augustana’s sixth 3-pointer of the first half.

Jansen tied the game at 33 with Augustana’s seventh 3-pointer of the first half but Minnesota State ended the half on an 8-2 run, including a 3-pointer from Tanner Adler as time was running low in the first half to give the Mavericks a 41-35 lead at the half.

Augustana finished the half shooting 54 percent (14 of 26) but was lights-out from 3-point range connecting on 7 of 13 shots from behind the arc. Jansen and Guske each hit two 3-pointers in the half for the Vikings as Jansen led the team with 10 points in the first 20 minutes.

Minnesota State finished the half shooting 47 percent (16 of 34) from the field, including 6 of 14 from 3-point range. MSU was 3 of 3 from the free throw line while Augustana did not attempt a free throw.

With Minnesota State leading 46-37 two minutes into the second half, Schilling converted a 3-point-play after taking the basket to the rim and making his free throw after getting fouled to help the Vikings get within five at 48-43 after a 3-pointer by Adam Beyer.

Minnesota State went on a 14-7 run over the next six and a half minutes to build its largest lead of the night at 62-50 at the midway point of the second half. Augustana stayed alive in the game scoring 11 of the game’s next 15 points to cut MSU’s lead to five at 66-61 with just under six minutes to play after Gilligan hit two free throws.

Minnesota State answered that with a 10-3 run to after a 3-pointer by Gage Wooten to go up by 13 at 76-63 but Schilling answered with a 3-pointer for the Vikings to cut the MSU lead to 10 with 2:50 to play. Augustana was able to get the lead down to six with 19 seconds remaining after Shellim hit two free throws but the Vikings were unable to capitalize late as the Mavericks held on for the seven point victory.

Augustana returns to action Saturday taking on Concordia-St. Paul at 6 p.m. at the Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul, Minn.

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Courtesy:  Augustana College

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