SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A four-point play turned an Augustana men's basketball deficit into a 71-70 lead as the Vikings held off Wayne State 74-72 Saturday inside the Sanford Pentagon.
Dylan LeBrun sank a 3-point basket with 2:50 remaining in the game to knot the score at 70-all. While the ball was in the air, Tyler Riemersma drew a foul putting him on the free throw line. He sank 1-of-2 free throws to give the Vikings a 71-70 lead.
After forcing a tough shot from Wayne State on the ensuing possession, Riemersma scored a fast-break layup for Augustana to push a 73-70 lead. The Wildcats answered back with a pair of free throws, but that is all they would be able to do as the Vikings prevailed 74-72.
Augustana improves to 10-2 on the season and 5-1 in the NSIC while Wayne State falls to 5-10 overall and 2-4 in the loop. The Vikings enter the holiday break tied for first in the NSIC while holding sole possession of first place in the South Division.
Augustana held a lead as large as 13 points in the first half utilizing a 13-3 run to hold a 20-7 lead with 7:53 remaining in the half. The Wildcats would claw back to pull within three at 35-32 at intermission.
Coming out of the locker room, Wayne State used a 9-0 run to eventually build a lead of seven points with 16:13 remaining at 46-39. That set up an exciting finish for the fans inside the Sanford Pentagon that saw each team shoot nearly the same percentage. Augustana shot 45.6 (26-of-57) percent from the field while Wayne State was 45.3 percent (24-of-53).
LeBrun, a sophomore, led the Vikings with 13 points while fellow sophomores Michael Schaefer and Matt Todd totaled 12 and 11 points, respectively. Augustana was led in rebounding by Riemersma, a junior, with nine rebounds who also tallied nine points.
The Vikings sank 12-of-24 shots from 3-point range including three each from LeBrun and Todd.
The Wildcats were led by Nate Mohr with 17 points on 4-of-11 shooting.
Augustana kicks off 2020 with Southwest Minnesota State on Friday, Jan. 3 and hosts rival Sioux Falls on Saturday, Jan. 4, inside the Sanford Pentagon. Tickets can be purchased at GoAugie.com/Tickets.