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November 18, 2009

2009-10 Season - Augustana moves to 2-0 with win over Beloit

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – After jumping out to a 17-point halftime lead, Augustana had to withstand a second-half run by Beloit which got the Buccaneers to within two points with 5:09 left in the game. However, the Vikings were able to re-establish control in the last five minutes and escape with a 66-53 win.

After falling behind 8-2 in the first two minutes, Augustana dominated the rest of the opening half, making 14 of 27 field goal attempts (.519) and holding the Buccaneers to just 24% on 6 of 25. The Vikings also held a 26-11 edge on the boards in the first 20 minutes, building a 34-17 lead and looking like they would coast easily to their second win of the season.

However, Beloit had different plans, gradually whittling away at the deficit. By the 15:00-minute mark they had cut the Viking lead to 10 and when Derek Lovgren buried a three-pointer with 10:01 left it was under double digits for the first time since the 10:44 mark of the first half.

Another Lovgren three with 7:14 left sliced the lead to three and at the 5:09 mark Travis Towns hit a pair of free throws to get Beloit within two at 52-50. However, the Vikings scored 11 of the next 12 points, with seven coming from senior co-captain Matt Pelton (Bloomington Central Catholic HS, Houston, Texas). After a Kyle Nelson (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) bucket, Towns hit one of two free throws to make it 54-51 before Pelton took a kick out from Nelson and drained a three-pointer from the left corner and followed that up with a bucket on a post-up move and a steal and two free throws on the next possession to push the lead back to 61-51.

Augustana, who struggled to a 15-of-26 night at the line, ended up making seven of its last eight to lock up the win. Pelton led the way with 12 points. Sophomore point guard Brian DeSimone (Buffalo Grove HS, Wheeling, Ill.) was the only other Viking in double figures with 10, all in the second half. Nelson had eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Augustana finished the night with a .522 mark from the floor (24 of 46), but struggled from the free throw line and committed 19 turnovers. Beloit, who falls to 0-2 on the year, shot just .345 from the field (19 of 55) and was outrebounded by a 45-22 margin.

The Vikings are back in action Saturday. November 21 when they host MacMurray in a 7:30 p.m. contest at Carver Center.