Augustana men’s basketball rolls past Concordia-St. Paul, 91-72.

The Augustana men’s basketball team (16-10, 11-9 NSIC) used a strong start and an aggressive defense to propel itself to a 91-72 win against Concordia-St. Paul (8-16, 6-14 NSIC) on Saturday, February 15, at the Sanford Pentagon. 

This marks the latest game in a 3-win streak by the Vikings, who are coming back after eight losses and only four wins since the beginning of January. 

“We were in kind of a shooting slump for about a month,” head coach Tom Billeter said. “I don’t have an explanation for it. We’re running the same plays with the same guys, but we’re making baskets again and that’s helping us quite a bit.” 

A jumpshot by sophomore guard Dylan Lebrun followed by a 3-pointer by junior forward Adam Dykman set Augustana up with a 5-point lead in the first two minutes of the game. Junior guard Lee Higgins fought back with a 3-pointer for the Golden Bears, but the following two 3-pointers by Augustana freshman guard Isaac Fink set a pace that Concordia-St. Paul never caught up to. 

The Vikings would continue building their lead throughout the half, with the Golden Bears trailing, but never coming within 8-points of Augustana’s score. By halftime, the score was 46-32 and Concordia-St. Paul had 14 points to make up.

That 14-point buffer became a 16-point one, before Concordia-St. Paul senior forward Max Keefe and Higgins attempted to balance the scales with a jump shot followed by a fouled layup and a free throw with 18:36 left in the game. However, the Vikings kept control of the court with layups from Fink and sophomore guard Matt Todd.

From there, the Vikings took off. Their score kept climbing, while Concordia-St. Paul followed at a distance. By the end of the game, it was clear that the Golden Bears would not catch Augustana’s 21-point lead. 

“Last time we got out to a really hot start against them,” said Lebrun. “So that was kind of the focus. We wanted to come out with a lot of energy, get on top of them quick and not let them back in.”

Lebrun was the Vikings’ leading scorer with 23 points made, as well as four steals and three rebounds. Fink followed with 17 points, 1 steal and 2 rebounds. Junior forward Tyler Riemersma chipped in 13 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for Augustana. 

“Dylan’s been playing really well for us for the last three or four weeks,” said head coach Tom Billeter. “Changing it up, gets to the glass, gets to the free throw line, hits a three here and there, has a really nice pullout jumper…February’s been good to him and we’re glad to see it.”

Higgins scored 14 total points for the Golden Bears, as well as pulling down 5 rebounds and helping with 5 assists. Junior forward Cody Carlson followed with 12 points and 7 rebounds. 

Overall, the Vikings shot 43.8% from the court, while the Golden Bears shot 51.9%. Augustana played strong defensively with 9 steals, while Concordia-St. Paul only acquired 2. 

On Friday, the Vikings will travel a couple of blocks away to the Stewart Center, where they will take on the University of Sioux Falls (20-6, 16-4 NSIC) at 7:30 p.m. They will stay at the Stewart Center to take on Wayne State (6-15, 3-14 NSIC) on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.


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