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January 15, 2011

2010-11 Season - Vikings remain unbeaten with win at Carthage

Senior Kyle Nelson led the way with 20 points and 10 rebounds Saturday as Augustana remained unbeaten at 15-0 with a 58-54 win at Carthage.

KENOSHA, Wis.-Another outstanding defensive effort along with 20 points and 10 rebounds from Kyle Nelson (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) helped Augustana remain unbeaten with a 58-54 win over Carthage at Tarble Arena Saturday. Now 15-0 on the season, the Vikings will return to Carver Center to face Millikin on Wednesday, January 19 with an opportunity to tie the school record for wins to open a season. Augustana sits alone atop the CCIW at 4-0 while Carthage drops to 9-6 overall and 2-2 in the league.

 Carthage took its biggest lead of the night at 11-6 as the Vikings connected on just three of its first 14 field goal attempts. Two free throws each by Kameron Norton (Downers Grove North HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) and Brian DeSimone (Buffalo Grove HS, Wheeling, Ill.) and one of two by Nelson narrowed the margin to 13-11 before Brandon Kunz (Lake Zurich HS, Lake Zurich, Ill.) finally got the lid off the basket for the Vikings with a jumper from the right baseline at the 9:21 mark of the first half. Kunz followed with a bucket in the lane before a George Dexter (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) follow up gave Augustana a brief lead at 17-16 with 7:56 left.

 The score remained close for the rest of the period with nine lead changes and three ties in the opening 20 minutes. The last of those lead changes came with 32 seconds left on a Troy Rorer (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) layup that gave the Vikings a 31-30 lead at intermission.

 Augustana began the second half on an 8-2 run to extend the lead to seven at 39-32 with just over four minutes gone in the period. However, over the next six minutes, the only offense the Vikings would get was a pair of Chris Anderson (West Carroll HS, Mt., Carroll, Ill.) free throws as the Red Men came back to forge a 43-41 lead. DeSimone buried a three to regain the lead, but Carthage All-American Steve Djurickovic answered with one of his own to make it 46-44 Red Men with 8:49 to go. Two minutes later, with the shot clock winding down, Carthage's Malcom Kelly buried a three-pointer from the top of the key to give his squad its biggest lead of the second half at 49-44.

 The Vikings had one more run left, though. Kunz cut the lead to three with a basket in the lane, DeSimone narrowed it to one with a long two-pointer 30 seconds later and Bryant Voiles (Byron HS, Byron, Ill.) hit his only three-pointer of the night to regain the lead at 51-49 with 3:38 left. Two baskets by Nelson extended the lead to six before Jon Cieski's three-pointer made it 55-52 with 47 second showing on the clock. Cieski's basket ended an 11-0 Viking run over five and a half minutes, during which the Augustana defense recorded six consecutive stops.

 Forced to foul in the last minute, the Red Men put Kunz at the line and he missed the front end of a one-and-one. Djurickovic came down and scored to cut the lead to one with 22 seconds remaining. However, Nelson calmly dropped two freebies and DeSimone one of two down the stretch to secure the victory for the visitors.

 DeSimone, who was 3-4 from the field, 2-3 from three-point range and 3-4 from the line, finished with 11 points to join Nelson in double figures. He also played 29 minutes without committing a turnover. In fact, the Vikings helped make up for a season-low .339 (20-59) shooting performance from the field by turning the ball over a season-low nine times. Augustana also held a huge edge on the glass (47-33) and held Carthage to just a .357 (20-56) mark from the field. The Red Men hit eight of 26 (.308) from long range compared to three of 13 (.231) for the Vikings. Augustana was 15-20 (.750) at the free throw line while the Red Men mad six of nine (.667). Djurickovic with 19 and Kelly with 16 were the leading scorers for Carthage.

 Tip-off for Wednesday's contest with Millikin is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.