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December 13, 2012

Frontcourt leads the way in win at Fontbonne

Brandon Kunz led four Augustana players in double figures with a career-high 22 points Thursday night as the Vikings defeated Fontbonne 79-65 in St. Louis, Missouri.

ST. LOUIS, Mo.-Augustana's starting front line combined for 51 points, including a career-high 22 by senior center Brandon Kunz (Lake Zurich HS, Lake Zurich, Ill.), as the Vikings defeated Fontbonne 79-65 on the road Thursday night. Augustana improves to 8-1 on the year, while the Griffins fall to 1-7.

In addition to Kunz, Tayvian Johnson (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.) equaled a career-high with 12 points and fellow freshman forward Ben Ryan (Washington HS, Washington, Ill.) was just one off his career best with 17. Sophomore point guard Danielius Jurgutis (Downers Grove South HS, Darien, Ill.) was the fourth Viking in double figures, with 14 points.  

The visitors used .571 (20-35) shooting from the field in the first half to open up a 43-28 lead at the break. The contest was tied 4-4 less than two minutes in, but Augustana went on a 20-6 run fueled by six points each from Ryan and Jurgutis, to break the game open. The Vikings had excellent success getting the ball inside in the opening stanza, with frontcourt players, including reserves Alex Dziagwa (Riverside-Brookfield HS, Brookfield, Ill.) and Brandon Motzel (Carmel Catholic HS, Buffalo Grove, Ill.), accounting for 29 points on 14-of-22 shooting from the field. Ryan's three-pointer at the halftime buzzer was the team's only successful trey attempt of the evening.  

Kunz took over offensively in the second half, scoring 18 points on seven-of-nine shooting from the floor and four of six from the free throw line. His basket with 15:45 to play gave Augustana a 20-point lead for the first time. The lead eventually reached 22, at 69-47, on a Ryan bucket at the 8:33 mark.  

After hitting just one of eight three-point attempts in the first half, Fontbonne connected on six of 13 from downtown after halftime, including a four-of-seven performance from Richard Dorhauer. Dorhauer scored eight points in the last five and a half minutes as the Griffins, coached by Augustana alum Steve Schafer, whittled the deficit to 12, but could get no closer.  

Augustana finished the night 36 of 65 (.554) from the field. The Vikings attempted just six three-pointers and nine free throws, converting six. Led by Ryan's nine rebounds and six each from Johnson, Jurgutis and Dziagwa, the visitors piled up a 38-28 edge on the boards.  

At the defensive end, Johnson and sophomore guard Brandon Thompson (Galesburg HS, Galesburg, Ill.) each had five steals on the night while Kunz blocked three shots and Dziagwa a pair. Fontbonne hit 23 of 55 (.418) from the field, seven of 21 (.333) from beyond the arc and 12 of 17 (.706) at the line.  

The Vikings take on another St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponent this Sunday, December 16, when they travel to Jacksonville, Illinois to face MacMurray. The Highlanders are led by coach Todd Creal, a former assistant under Grey Giovanine at Augustana. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.