Vikings remain perfect: Augustana starts fast and never looks back

Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2012, 11:00 pm
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By Tom Johnston,
A nearly perfect first 20 minutes carried the Augustana College men's basketball team Tuesday night as the Vikings rolled to a 69-57 victory over UW-Platteville.

The Vikings did seemingly everything correctly in the first half en route to a 39-23 lead and control of the game between unbeatens at the Carver Center.

"They came out and punched us in the mouth,'' said UW-Platteville coach Jeff Gard. "They got after it. We knew what was coming.''

Regular scrimmage partners in the past six years, the two teams were very familiar with each other and each side knew it was going to be tough coming in as the Vikings were 3-0 heading into their home opener against the 5-0 Pioneers.

"It was a great first half,'' said Augie coach Grey Giovanine. "The guys embraced the game plan, held them to 23 points and we're up 16 at the half. It's awfully hard to come back from that. It was as good a first half defensively as we have played.''

The Vikings were pretty good on the offensive end in that first half, too. Getting out and running as much as possible, Augie was 16-of-28 (57 percent) from the field in the first 20 minutes and had built a 19-11 rebounding edge that finished 37-34.

"In the first half, they had three offensive rebounds,'' said Giovanine, with a sense of pleasure that came from the hard work and tenacity at the defensive end that stymied a team averaging 85 points per game.

Also making it tough on the Pioneers was junior center Kevin Schlitter. Showing smooth moves and strength inside, the former Maine South prep powered his way to 11 first-half points.

"I'm sure Grey is hoping that is his coming-out party,'' said Gard, praising the young Vikings. "All those guys really came out and played. If they continue to bring that energy and aggressiveness night-in and night-out, they are going to have a good squad.''

Schlitter, who had battled an ankle injury and missed the first two games, was 7-of-12 from the field as he finished with a game-high 19 points and grabbed five rebounds in 20 minutes.

"He is going to be a handful for people,'' said Giovanine.

The night, though, wasn't without its struggles for the young Vikings in the second half. Not being as fluid with a slower pace, the hosts struggled out of the gate early before building a 51-30 lead on Brandon Kunz's bucket at the 10:34 mark.

From there, though, Augie had just one more field goal, that on Brandon Thompson's old-fashioned three-point play with 2:55 left. In that last 10 minutes, Augie was 16-of-21 from the free-throw line to hold off the Pioneers who never got the margin under 10 points.

For a team with just one senior and one junior playing right now, the Vikings have shown a lot of potential in the first four games. And Giovanine hopes that they keep learning on the fly. There are plenty of lessons left to learn, too.

"So far, the one thing this team hasn't done great is play great with the lead,'' said Giovanine. "And that's hard to do. That's a learning process, but I love that we're getting these lessons.''

Augie finished with four players in double-digit scoring. Joining Schlitter atop the Viking scoring charts were freshman Ben Ryan with 12, Thompson with 11 and Dan Jurgutis with 10.

Jake Manning led the Pioneers with 13 and Chas Cross added 10 as the Pioneer starters were held to 34 points.

QC college men
Augustana 69, UW-Platteville 57
Stocki 0-3 0-0 0 2 0, Manning 5-12 3-6 4 6 13, Cross 3-8 4-4 4 6 10, Gerber 3-5 2-2 2 3 9,  Stallion 1-2 0-0 2 1 2, Vaassen 3-6 0-0 2 3 3, Wittwer 3-7 1-2 4 4 9, Reinke 0-7 0-0 5 1 0, Nemitz 1-4 0-0 2 3 3, Lewis 1-1 3-3 1 1 5, Jackson 0-0 0-0 1 0 0. Team rebounds 3. Totals 20-55 13-17 27 34 57.
Johnson 0-4 0-0 2 3 0, Ryan 5-12 2-2 4 7 12, Kunz 2-3 3-4 2 6 7, Thompson 3-5 5-5 3 5 11, Jurgutis 3-9 4-6 0 2 10, Schlitter 7-12 5-7 3 5 19, Roth 1-6 0-0 0 0 3, Pils 1-2 4-6 2 3 7, Hill 0-1 0-0 2 1 0, Hoepfner 0-0 0-0 0 3 0, Motzel 0-0 0-0 0 0 0. Team rebounds 2. Totals 22-54 23-30 18 37 69.
Halftime: Augustana 39-23.  3s: UW-P 4-15 (Wittwer 2-5, Gerber 1-1, Nemitz 1-3, Cross 0-1, Vaassen 0-1, Stocki 0-2, Reinke 0-2(; Augie 2-9 (Pils 1-2, Roth 1-5, Thompson 0-1, Jurgutis 0-1). Assists: UW-P 6 (Gerber 2, Wittwer 2); Augie 6 (Thompson 2, Jurgutis 2). Turnovers: UW-P 16, Augie 12. Blocks: UW-P 3 (Cross 2, Lewis); Augie 4 (Johnson 3, Schlitter). Steals: UW-P 8 (Cross 2, Nemitz 2); Augie 9 (Kunz 2, Roth 2).


Local events heading

  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.

(More History)