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January 16, 2010

2009-10 Season - Vikings drop 69-64 decision to Carthage

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The Carthage Red Men shot .578 from the field and handed Augustana its second straight loss, 69-64 Saturday night at Carver Center. The Red Men, who jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never trailed in the game, move to 11-4 on the year and 3-1 in CCIW play while the Vikings fall to 9-6 overall and 2-2 in the conference.

Buckets by Carthage freshmen Tyler Pierce and Malcom Kelly (a three-pointer) and Steve Djurickovic gave the Red Men a 7-0 lead before Augustana cut it to 7-6 on a Matt Pelton basket at the 15:38 mark. That would be the last time the Vikings would be that close as Carthage gradually built the lead through the rest of the half, getting it to 10 on two occasions before settling on a 36-28 advantage at intermission.

Djurickovic scored 15 in the first half while Kelly added eight. Kyle Nelson (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) led the Vikings with 10 points at the break.

In the second half, Carthage continued its excellent execution on offense, shooting .632 from the field in the second stanza and eventually building the lead to 62-46 with 5:47 left in the game. Augustana went to full court pressure late in the second half and gradually began to work its way back into the game.

Carthage, who came into the game averaging less than 11 turnovers per game, coughed it up five times against the Viking pressure in the last 4:27 and missed its last six free throws to give Augustana a chance, but the Vikings weren’t able to convert enough offensive opportunities to pull out the victory.

Nelson continued to produce offensively, scoring 14 second-half points to finish with a game-high 24. His seven rebounds tied him with Kameron Norton (Downers Grove North HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) for game-high honors as well. Troy Rorer (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) scored eight of his 12 after intermission and grabbed six rebounds in the game. Djurickovic led the Red Men with 23 points while Pierce added 16 and Kelly 12.

The Vikings now face a stretch of three consecutive road games to close out the first half of the conference season. First up is a Wednesday, January 20 date at Decatur, Illinois against Millikin. Game time is 7:30 p.m.