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Eric Peterson, Published February 08 2013

Dragons men halt Augustana winning streak

MOORHEAD – Alex Novak liked the synergy he was feeling Friday night at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

“We played together and we played in a great atmosphere,” said the Minnesota State Moorhead senior. “When you get those two things, it’s tough to lose.”

Novak scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked three shots to help spark the Dragons to a

79-62 victory against Augustana in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men’s basketball before 1,703 fans.

The Dragons (16-7, 10-7 NSIC) snapped a two-game losing streak, playing in front of their largest home crowd this season.

“The fans out there were great,” Novak said. “They boosted our energy. They gave us confidence. It’s great to see a big showing like that.”

Augustana (16-5, 12-5) had its six-game winning streak snapped. MSUM had lost six of its previous eight games entering Friday.

“I thought that’s about as hard as we’ve played all year,” Dragons head coach Chad Walthall said. “But that’s what it takes to beat good teams. You aren’t going to beat good teams without giving it everything you got.”

The Dragons were efficient on offense, shooting 53 percent (32 of 60) from the field. Senior guard Anthony Tucker played a key hand in that, shooting 56 percent (9 of 16) from the floor to finish with a game-high 22 points. The 6-foot-4 Tucker also added five rebounds and five assists. Senior Eric Olson, making his first start this season, scored six points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field.

“We’re going to go as far as our seniors for the most part,” Walthall said.

Inserting Olson into the lineup wasn’t the only lineup tweak for the Dragons. Sophomore guard Jordan Riewer played more at point guard against the Vikings, allowing Tucker to play more off the ball.

“I think that freed up Anthony to think ‘score’ more,” Walthall said.

AUGUSTANA (16-5, 12-5 NSIC): McCaffrey 7-11 0-0 15, Burt 0-3 0-0 0, Richter 4-11 1-3 9, Huisken 5-8 1-2 11, Jansen 4-13 2-5 10, Odegaard 0-0 0-0 0, Glover 0-1 0-0 0, Preston 0-0 2-2 2, Taylor 1-4 0-0 2, Pierce 0-1 0-0 0, Malashenko 2-4 0-0 5, Nomeland 4-6 0-0 8. Totals 27-62 6-12 62.

MSUM (16-7, 10-7): Tucker 9-16 0-0 22, Riewer 3-5 2-2 10, Vaughan 3-9 0-0 9, Olson 3-4 0-1 6, Novak 8-11 3-3 19, Akason 0-1 0-0 0, Wohler 2-4 1-2 5, Figini 2-7 0-0 4, Filipek 0-0 0-0 0, Sevlie 2-3 0-1 4. Totals 32-60 6-9 79.

Half: MSUM 40, AC 31. 3-point goals: AC 2-22 (McCaffrey 1-4, Burt 0-3, Richter 0-2, Huisken 0-2, Jansen 0-3, Glover 0-1, Taylor 0-3, Malashenko 1-3, Nomeland 0-1), MSUM 9-19 (Tucker 4-8, Riewer 2-4, Vaughan 3-6, Wohler 0-1). Total fouls: AC 14, MSUM 12. Rebounds: AC 35 (Jansen 10), MSUM 33 (Novak 10). Assists: AC 14 (McCaffrey 5), MSUM 17 (Riewer 6). Steals: AC 4 (four players with 1), MSUM 5 (Riewer 2). Turnovers: AC 8 (McCaffrey 3), MSUM 7 (Wohler 2, Figini 2). A-1,703.


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