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November 16, 2009

2009-10 Season - Vikings weather the Storm 58-53

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Sophomore guard Troy Rorer (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) keyed a 14-1 run early in the second half Monday to pull Augustana from an 11-point deficit to a 46-44 lead, its first of the night, over visiting Simpson. It was a lead the Vikings never relinquished as they hung on for a 58-53 victory over the pesky Storm.

In a five minute stretch, Rorer scored four points, grabbed three rebounds, came up with two steals and dished out an assist as the Vikings went from down 43-34 to tied at 44. The entire run took the score from 43-32 Simpson to 46-44 Augustana. That lead was the Vikings’ first of the night and came on a Kyle Nelson (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) bucket with 9:39 left.

Simpson jumped out in front early, getting consecutive three-pointers from Zack Barragan, Andrew Dau and Tim Dunlavy to take a 9-0 lead. Then, after Bryant Voiles (Byron HS, Byron, Ill.) got the lid off the Viking basket with a layup, Barragan drained another trey to make it 12-2 with less than four minutes gone. Augustana played from behind the rest of the half, cutting the lead to two on five occasions, before finally managing a 32-32 tie with 1:30 left. However, five free throws and a buzzer-beating Dave Fouch three-pointer gave the Storm a 40-32 at the half.

Simpson shot .542 from the field in the opening half including 6-of-9 (.667) from behind the arc. Conversely, The Vikings struggled at .367 overall and just 1-of-10 from deep. Matt Pelton (Houston, Texas, Bloomington Central Catholic HS) led the Vikings with 11 at the break.

A Barragan trey to start the second half gave the Storm its biggest lead of the night at 43-32, setting the stage for the huge spark that Rorer provided the Vikings. Augustana extended the lead to six, but never more than that. The Vikings led by just two, 55-53, with the shot clock winding down on their final possession when Voiles launched a three from the right wing which found the bottom of the net and provided the final margin of victory. It was just the second successful three-pointer of the evening for Augustana, which finished 2-for-16 from long range.

Pelton, who is making the switch to shooting guard from the point this year, led Augustana with 15 points. He also had six rebounds and a pair of assists. Voiles was the only other Viking in double figures, finishing with 10. Nelson added nine points and tied with freshman George Dexter (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) for the team lead with seven rebounds. Rorer finished the night with eight points, six rebounds and five steals in 26 minutes off the bench.

Dexter, who got the start in his collegiate debut, also did a tremendous job defensively on Simpson’s Tim Dunlavy. Dunlavy (also from Bettendorf), a two-time all-conference performer who averaged 16.2 points a game last year, finished with just six tonight on 2-of-10 shooting from the field. The Storm was led in scoring by Barragan with 16 and Dau with 15.

Augustana finished just 25-of-59 (.390) from the field, but tightened up the defense considerably in the second half, holding the Storm to just 4-of-19 (.211) in the half and 17-of-43 (.395) for the game. The Vikings also won the battle of the boards by a 43-27 count, including a whopping 28-10 edge in the second half.

Up next for the Vikings is a matchup with Beloit at Carver Center on Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m.