SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — November 13, 2018 — In its home opener, Augustana University used a 15-4 second-half run to pull away from the Chadron State College men’s basketball team in Sioux Falls Tuesday evening, winning 83-69 in front of a raucous crowd of 1,874.
The Eagles shot 40 percent from the floor and hit an admirable 11-of-24 from beyond the three-point arc, yet they were assessed with 25 personal fouls, sending the Vikings to the free throw line 30 times. Augustana finished with a 45.8 field goal percentage and was good on free throws, making 23 of 30 for 76.7 percent on the evening.
“Give those guys some credit,” said CSC Head Men’s Basketball Coach Houston Reed of the opponent. “They did a great job spreading us out. They had great offensive execution. With our lineup being bigger we didn’t do a great job of winning the one-on-one battle. Sometimes we didn’t go find our man and put a body on him.”
“We got better shots than we’ve been getting,” he added, “but there was a stretch in the second half where our shots just weren’t going in.”
The Vikings twice stretched their lead to nine points in the first half, coming out hot and gaining a 17-8 advantage at the 12:36 mark, and reaching the nine-point margin again at 21-12, with 10 minutes expired.
CSC caught fire after that, pouring in 22 points in a little over seven minutes. The Eagles took a 34-31 lead at the 2:55 mark in the first half, and they went into the break trailing 38-37. In that seven-minute stretch, senior forward Jeremy Ruffin and sophomore guard Brady Delimont each added six points. As a team CSC shot 9-of-13 and 4-of-6 from three in the comeback bid.
In the second half, Chadron State’s field goal percentage dipped to 25 percent over the first 15 minutes of play, and Augustana seized the opportunity, going up 21 points with 5:34 left in the contest.
The Eagles were able to stem the tide somewhat down the stretch, getting a pair of threes, a mid-range jumper, and a trip to the line from junior guard Michael Sparks in the final four minutes.
CSC finished with its most points in three games so far, receiving 15 from Ruffin, 13 from Sparks, and 12 from Delimont.
Sophomore forward Walker Andrew also added eight points in just 15 minutes, shooting 3-of-6 and hitting 2-of-3 treys.
Augustana forward Tyler Riemersma led his team with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 from the foul line. A.J. Plitzuweit, the 2018 South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year, matched the 7-of-12 stat line and put up 19 points..
Chadron State hosts in-state rival Nebraska-Kearney on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Chicoine Center. Two canned good donations are redeemable for a general admission ticket to the game on Thursday, as well as the women’s game on Friday at 5 p.m.