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January 30, 2010

2009-10 Season - Nelson's 28 leads Vikings to win over Elmhurst

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois – Kyle Nelson (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) converted all 12 of his field goal attempts and four of five free throw opportunities for a career-high 28 points Saturday night, leading Augustana to a 62-49 win over Elmhurst at Carver Center. Nelson’s performance fell just two field goals shy of the school single-game record (14 of 14) set by Max Artis against North Park in 1982.

The Vikings struggled offensively in the early going and led just 7-6 after the game’s first seven minutes. However, a flurry of three baskets in just over a minute by freshman Brandon Kunz (Lake Zurich HS, Lake Zurich, Ill.) extended the lead to 13-6 and baskets by Nelson and Troy Rorer (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) stretched it to 17-6 before Elmhurst scored to end an 11-0 Viking run.

The Augustana lead reached 11 three more times in the first half before three Zack Boyd field goals cut it to 25-20 with 2:52 left. Nelson and Mike Avallone (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill) answered with baskets of their own to push the margin back to nine, 29-20, at the break.

The Vikings shot .545 (12 of 22) from the field in the first half and held the Bluejays to just a .296 (8 of 27) mark, but kept the visitors in the game by turning it over 13 times.

Matt Pelton (Bloomington, Ill. Central Catholic HS, Houston, Texas) hit his only two field goals of the night, both three-pointers, early in the second half to push the lead to 13 and it grew steadily to 55-31, on another bucket by Nelson with just under nine minutes left.

Nelson’s thunderous dunk on a nice feed from Rorer with 2:39 left completed his perfect night from the field and gave him a new career-high, surpassing the 27 points he scored at Buena Vista earlier this year.

Augustana finished the night 25 of 51 (.490) from the field and held the Bluejays to just 15 of 54 (.278). Led by freshman Kameron Norton’s (Downers Grove North HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) nine rebounds, the Vikings won the battle of the boards by a 39-32 count. Brian DeSimone (Buffalo Grove HS, Wheeling, Ill.) led Augustana with five assists while Pelton recorded four steals.

The win moves Augustana to 12-7 overall and 5-3 in the CCIW while Elmhurst drops to 5-14 overall and 0-8 in the league. The Vikings will travel to Chicago on Wednesday, February 3 for a 7:30 p.m. contest with North Park. Augustana is currently tied for third in the conference with Wheaton, while North Park is fifth, one game back at 4-4.