Viking battle, but fall to Pointers

Posted Online: Dec. 08, 2012, 10:16 pm
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- The Augustana College men's basketball team got a lesson in how life can be on the road against a top-ranked team here Saturday night at Quandt Fieldhouse.

The Vikings suffered their first loss of the season, falling 67-59 to the No. 7 ranked UW-Stevens Point Pointers, but Coach Grey Giovanine hopes the experience was one that will play dividends down the road.

Augie (6-1) did some things well, he said. The Viking hit one more filed goal than the hosts (23-22), out-rebounded the Pointers 39-30, held the hosts to 39-percent shooting from the field, and held pre-season NCAA Div. III All-American Tyler Tillema 15 points on 4-of-16 shooting.

But they also learned how the game has to be played when things get physical and the guys are allowed to make contact. The Vikings had 17 turnovers – 10 more than the 7-0 Pointers.

"It's going to be physical and you have to be tough and hard-nosed,'' said Giovanine. "Some of our 17 turnovers were guys just getting bumped off balance. You can't dribble the ball and fall down and win. ... That's what it's like when you go play at North Central. This is a team that will compete for national honors and to come up here and take them to the wire without our best front-line player (injured junior Kevin Schlitter)... We're not satisfied, but it was a great experience that should pay off down the road.''

Augie did get some solid individual efforts. Freshman Ben Ryan put up another double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Mark Roth found his shooting touch, hitting four-of-nine 3-pointers for 12 points. Brandon Kunz was 5-for-7 from the field for 13 points and sophomore guard Dan Jurgutis added 10 points.

The game changed in the second half when Clayton Heuer got active inside, going counter to the scouting report that had him an outside threat. The 6-foot-8 junior transfer from NCAA Div. I UW-Green Bay, finished with a season-high 20 points and six rebounds, all but two of his points in the second half.

"He was a great presence inside,'' said Giovanine of Heuer. "He really gave us fits in the second half and we weren't able to handle him. ... Our scouting report showed that he was a very good 3-point shooter, but in the second half, he was a layup-maker.''

That was where the Vikings, who led 28-25 at halftime and 34-32 with 16:17 left for their last lead, were exposed without Schlitter to add experienced depth in the middle against Heuer's big body.

"Our biggest, strongest body was not dressed,'' lamented Giovanine of Schlitter, who went down Wednesday with a knee injury. "We certainly would have liked to have had him, but we didn't.''

Forward Trevor Hass added 15 points and seven rebounds.

"We had five guys in double figures, played great defense and had a chance to beat a Top 10 team on the road,'' said Giovanine. "We didn't quite get it done. We weren't quite good enough; weren't quite tough enough down the stretch, particularly offensively.''

QC college men
UW-Stevens Point 67, Augustana 59
Johnson 1-4 0-0 4 1 2, Ryan 4-9 3-4 4 10 11, Kunz 5-7 3-5 3 4 13, Thompson 1-3 0-0 3 3 2, Jurgutis 4-13 1-1 0 4 10, Pils 3-6 0-0 2 6 7, Roth 4-10 0-0 1 0 12, Hoepfner 1-2 0-0 2 3 2, Hill 0-0 0-0 0 2 0, Gylten 0-0 0-0 0 0 0, Motzel 0-0 0-0 0 0 0. Team rebounds 6. Totals 23-54 7-10 19 39 59.
Hass 4-10 2-2 0 0 13, Ritchey 3-8 2-4 2 4 9, Heuer 8-11 4-5 3 6 20, Ryf 2-3 0-0 2 3 5, Tillema 4-16 6-6 3 7 15, Richard 0-2 2-2 1 4 2, Giordana 1-3 0-0 1 0 3, Lutz 0-2 0-0 1 0 0, Studer 0-1 0-0 0 0 0. Team rebounds 6. Totals 22-56 16-19 13 30 67.
Halftime: Augustana 28-25. 3s: Augie 6-20 (Roth 4-9, Pils 1-2, Jurgutis 1-6, Ryan 0-1, Thompson 0-2); UW-SP 7-23 (Hass 3-9, Ritchay 1-4, Tillema 1-4, Giordana 1-3, Ryf 1-2, Lutz 0-1). Assists: Augie 11 (Thompson 3, Pils 3);  UW-SP 17 (Tillema 7). Turnovers: Augie 17, UW-SP 7. Blocks: Augie 2 (Ryan, Hoepfner); UW-SP 2 (Tillema Hass). Steals: Augie 1 (Johnson); UW-SP 9 (Ryf 4).


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