Men's Basketball

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Men's Basketball Report: February 15 
Minnesota State 68, Augustana 64

Sioux Falls, S.D. -- Augustana's string of close games continued Thursday night against Minnesota State. Unfortunately for the Vikings, the result was all too fammiliar as they dropped a 68-64 decision to the Mavericks at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Augustana seemed poised to upset the Mavericks. After leading 29-24 at halftime, Augustana scored the first 8 points of the second half to take its largest lead of the game, 37-24, with 18:09 left in the game.

But Minnesota State, which shot just 31 percent in the first half, including a 1-for-11 showing from 3-point range, found its outside shooting in the second half. The Mavericks responded with a 14-3 run to pull within 2 points at 40-38 with 13:40 to play.

Following a 3-pointer by Augie's Eric Krogman, MSU scored 9 of the next 11 points to take a 47-45 lead with 9:50 remaining.

The game saw 6 lead changes and 2 ties the rest of the way. The final tie came at 59-59 with 3:14 on the clock.

Minnesota State grabbed some momentum by scoring 6 straight points to lead 65-59 with 42 seconds to play.

But the Vikings weren't done. Ian Thomas made 2 free throws and Joey Ryan drained his fifth 3-pointer, a career high, with 30 seconds to play to make it 65-64.

Tony Thomason then made 2 free throws with 19 seconds left to push the lead to 67-64. Augie had a chance to tie the score, but Kenny Hartzell's 3-point attempt from the top of the key with 5 seconds to play hit the front of the rim and MSU secured the rebound and the victory.

After their cold shooting in the first half, MSU connected on 52 percent (13 of 25) of its shots in the second half, including 5 of 9 shooting behind the arc.

Augustana finished the night shooting 43 percent (24 of 56) for the game.

After making 12 of 25 field goals (48 percent) in the first half, the Vikings shot 39 percent (12 of 31) in the final 20 minutes.

Ryan led 4 Vikings in double figures with 15 points. Matt Paulson added 14 points and 9 rebounds, while Eric Krogman came off the bench to score 12 points and grab 8 boards in 14 minutes of play. Nick Olson chipped in with 12 points.

Paris Kyles paced MSU with 18 points, while Luke Anderson poured in 15 points, 13 in the second half. Jake Morrow and Thomason added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

South Dakota 69, North Dakota 68

Grand Forks, N.D. -- It was another barnburner at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. After trailing by as many as seven points with one minute, 38 seconds remaining in the game, the Fighting Sioux lost 69-68 to South Dakota.

The final minute-and-a-half provided some excitment for the 2,504 on hand. The climax came in the final nine seconds. Travis Bledsoe hit his second straight three pointer to pull the Sioux within 69-67. Then Wes Porter stole the ball near midcourt from Dylan Grimsley.

The Sioux worked the ball around and found Emmanuel Little under the hoop. He was fouled with a second remaining, but made only one of two free throws.

Only a short time earlier, it looked like the Sioux were finished. South Dakota's Jesse Becker drained a three-pointer to give the Coyotes that seven-point lead, their greatest of the game. But the Sioux began to creep back in it.

On UND's next possession, Emmanuel Little missed a three-pointer, but Mark Kruse was able to grabbed to rebound. He dished it out to Travis Bledsoe, who was fouled from the three-point line. Bledsoe made all three to pull the Sioux within 65-61 with 1:04 to play.

The Sioux fouled on USD's next possession and Dylan Grimsley made both free throws to put the game back at six. Bledsoe responded. He hit a three-pointer and the Sioux were within three and fouled again. Becker hit both of those free throws, setting up Bledsoe's second three.

Bledsoe had a great night for the Sioux, finishing with a team-high 17 points. Nine of those points came in the final 64 seconds.

UND held a 10-point lead in the first half. The teams traded leads for the opening minutes and South Dakota held a 17-12 lead at the 12:25 mark. The Sioux went on a 13-0 run over the next four minutes, 45 seconds.

The Sioux held the lead until the midway point of the second half. South Dakota tied it at 46 and later took the lead for good on a Grimsley jumper with 6:04 remaining. Those two points gave the Coyotes a 54-53 lead.

Little had a double double, scoring 16 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Gutter scored 14, while Mark Kruse had 10. Kruse, UND's only senior, was honored before the game in a Senior Night Celebration.

South Dakota led by Steve Smith, who had 16 points before fouling out. Grimsley ended with 15, Becker and Eric Hall had 11, and Tyler Cain scored 10.