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December 16, 2009

2009-10 Season - Defensive effort keys 59-47 win over Chicago

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Coach Grey Giovanine’s Augustana Vikings used 40 minutes of suffocating defense and mixed in 20 minutes of solid offensive play as well, knocking off the University of Chicago by a score of 59-47 at Carver Center Wednesday evening. The Vikings never trailed in the contest and built the lead to as much as 19 points in the second half while handling the nation’s 24th-ranked team.

The Vikings jumped out to an early 8-2 lead—a rarity this season—after five minutes before the Maroons came back to forge the only two ties of the night at 8-8 and 10-10. A Chris Anderson (West Carroll HS, Mt. Carroll, Ill.) three-pointer—the Vikings’ only one of the night—at the 12:13 mark gave Augustana a 13-10 lead which it would never relinquish.

Chicago stayed close for the remainder of the half with the lead bouncing from one to five points until Brandon Kunz’s (Lake Zurich HS, Lake Zurich, Ill.) put-back at the buzzer gave the Vikings their biggest lead to that point, 27-21 at the half. That lead was built mostly on a stifling defensive effort which saw Augustana record 10 steals on 17 first-half turnovers by the Maroons.

In the second half, The Vikings continued their defensive pressure and began to find the range offensively as well. The lead reached double-digits on a Kyle Nelson (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) bucket at the 15:43 mark and ballooned to 19 with 2:56 remaining before Giovanine emptied his bench. After hitting just .400 (8-20) from the field in the opening half, the Vikings shot a red-hot .609 (14-23) in the final 20 minutes.

Anderson and Nelson led the way offensively with 13 points each. Matt Pelton (Bloomington, Ill. Central Catholic HS, Houston, Texas) added 11 and Brian DeSimone (Buffalo Grove HS, Wheeling, Ill.) had nine. Defensively, the Vikings held the Maroons to just .415 shooting from the field and 6-of-18 from behind the arc while forcing 28 turnovers. Augustana was credited with 17 steals in the game led by Nelson’s five, Pelton’s four and three by DeSimone. Freshman forward Kameron Norton (Downers Grove North HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) also had a solid outing with seven points and three blocked shots.

The win moves the 18th-ranked Vikings to 6-2 on the year while the 24th-ranked Maroons fall to 6-2. Augustana is in action next on Sunday, December 20 at 3:00 p.m. when it will take on the Fighting Scots of Monmouth.