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Eric Peterson, Published January 10 2014

Dragons men power past Concordia-St. Paul for NSIC win

MOORHEAD – A bountiful bench bolstered Minnesota State Moorhead at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

Sophomore guard Ngijol Songolo scored a career-high 19 points in a reserve role to help spark the Dragons to a 100-85 victory Friday night against Concordia-St. Paul in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men’s basketball.

“It doesn’t really matter who starts,” said Songolo, who played 18 minutes. “We don’t buy into a lot of stuff like that. It’s who’s playing well, and you stay out there if you are playing well.”

The Dragons (10-3, 6-3 NSIC) snapped a three-game losing streak. MSUM has an 8-0 home record this season.

MSUM had six different players scored in double digits against the Golden Bears, including three players who came off the bench. Freshman guard Aaron Lien scored 13 points in 22 minutes and sophomore forward Isaac Sevlie added 10 points in 15 minutes, both in reserve roles. Songolo, Lien and Sevlie combined to shoot 17-for-25 (68 percent) from the field. The Dragons finished with 44 bench points.

“I liked that we were really balanced offensively,” Songolo said. “We got the shots we wanted.”

The Dragons shot 57 percent (37 of 65) from the field.

MSUM surged into the lead for good, scoring 13 consecutive points during a stretch that started with a little less than nine minutes to play in the first half. Junior forward Urbane Bingham started the rally with an inside basket. The 6-foot-8 Bingham also capped the scoring spree with a 3-pointer that gave the Dragons a 33-20 lead with 5 minutes, 36 seconds to play in the first half. MSUM carried a 13-point lead into halftime.

Songolo scored 12 of his team-high point total in the second half. Songolo drained a 3-pointer that gave the Dragons an 86-64 lead with 5:40 remaining. That was MSUM’s largest lead.

“Tonight was a good win,” Songolo said.

The Dragons have reached 100 points in three games this season. MSUM hosts perennial NSIC power Minnesota State-Mankato at 6 tonight.

“We are going to have to play a lot better defensively, playing against a good Minnesota State (Mankato) team,” Songolo said.

CONCORDIA-SP (4-9, 1-8 NSIC): Crockett 1-3 5-6 7, Smith 5-7 1-4 15, VanPelt 5-9 11-13 22, Halvorsen 3-4 3-8 9, Yahnke 2-6 0-0 4, Olstad 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell 7-12 2-4 19, Ruhland 1-1 0-0 2, Mandli 2-3 2-4 7, Steinbauer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-45 24-39 85.

MSUM (10-3, 6-3): Riewer 4-5 4-4 14, Clark 4-6 4-5 12, Williams 2-2 2-4 7, Vaughan 3-7 0-0 9, Bingham 6-13 1-2 14, Songolo 7-10 2-2 19, Wood 1-5 0-0 2, Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Lien 6-9 0-0 13, Reinke 0-1 0-0 0, Figini 0-0 0-0 0, Filipek 0-0 0-0 0, Sevlie 4-6 2-3 10. Totals 37-65 15-20 100.

Half: MSUM 47, CSP 34. 3-point goals: CSP 9-17 (Crockett 0-2, Smith 4-6, VanPelt 1-2, Yahnke 0-2, Mitchell 3-4, Mandli 1-1), MSUM 11-24 (Riewer 2-3, Williams 1-1, Vaughan 3-6, Bingham 1-4, Songolo 3-4, Wood 0-3, Lien 1-2, Reinke 0-1). Total fouls: CSP 18, MSUM 24. Rebounds: CSP 21 (Crockett 5, Mitchell 5), MSUM 38 (Williams 8). Assists: CSP 14 (VanPelt 6), MSUM 16 (Riewer 7). Steals: CSP 5 (Mitchell 2), MSUM 6 (Songolo 2). Turnovers: CSP 13 (Halvorsen 5), MSUM 14 (Songolo 4). A-892.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com