Second-half rally keys Augie road victory


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Posted Online: Jan. 05, 2013, 11:50 pm
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Staff report, sports@qconline.com
KENOSHA, Wis. -- For one half of basketball, Augustana College men's coach Grey Giovanine said he saw a bunch of youngsters on the court playing in their first CCIW road game of the season and that led to a five-point halftime deficit.

In the second half, though, Giovanine saw that same bunch grow up to play much better and pull out a convincing 68-56 victory over hosting Carthage at the Tarble Center.

"We looked tentative, hesitant and flat-footed,'' Giovanine said of the first 20 minutes. "In the second half, we played so much more aggressive on both ends of the floor.''

The halftime break couldn't have come at a better time for the nationally 19th-ranked Vikings, who are now 12-1, 2-0 in the CCIW. And when the second half tipped off, it was a different team back on the court – one getting contributions from nearly every player to see action.

Giovanine credited freshman Tayvian Johnson with making a couple of strong plays. Senior center Brandon Kunz became a force inside to shake off a couple of point-blank misses in the first half to score all eight of his points. Sophomore Mark Roth also had a really good sequence in which he hit two 3-pointers and drew a charging foul.

"That turned around our demeanor,'' said Giovanine.

That showed in the stats. Augie, which trailed 30-25 at the half to the Red Men (5-8, 0-2), allowed the hosts to shoot 52 percent in the first half, but changed that to 26 percent (8 of 31) in the second half. The Vikings were being out-rebounded by six in the first half, but finished with a 35-30 edge.

Freshman Ben Ryan led Augie with 13 points, Kunz added his 12 in the second half and Brandon Thompson sealed it with four late free throws en route to his 10 points.

"It was a great collective effort,'' said Giovanine.

One that was much needed, too, as the Vikings won the first of a tough three-game road trip that includes games Wednesday at Illinois Wesleyan (ranked No. 25) and North Central (No. 1 in the country).

"This was really important,'' said Giovanine. "You start a three-game road trip and get the first one, it's really key. It gives you a much better chance to get the next one. You start out on a three-game road trip and drop the first one, boy, you're looking up hill.

"The kids talked about it after the game, we got down, but the kids stayed together. We stuck to the game-plan. To come from behind on the road can be a real confidence builder.''

One drawback out of the victory came late in the game. With under a minute left, starting point guard Dan Jurgutis rolled an ankle. His status is up in the air for Wednesday.

"He's got it up in the air icing it right now to make sure it doesn't get real swollen,'' said Giovanine, noting Jurgutis suffered a high ankle sprain to the same ankle this past summer. "We'll know more by Monday.''




BASKETBALL
QC college men
Augustana 68, Carthage 56
AUGUSTANA (12-1, 2-0 CCIW)
Johnson 4-6 0-0 4 2 8, Ryan 5-10 3-5 1 2 13, Kunz 3-7 6-8 5 8 12, Thompson 3-5 4-5 2 5 10, Jurgutis 2-6 0-1 1 4 6, Pils 1-4 2-2 1 4 4, Roth 2-4 0-0 0 2 6, Hoepfner 3-3 0-1 0 1 6, Dexter 1-2 1-2 1 3 3, Hill 0-1 0-0 0 0 0. Team rebounds 4. Totals 24-48 16-24 15 35 68.
CARTHAGE (5-8, 0-2, CCIW)
VanWyk 2-3 1-2 5 4 5, Pierce 3-9 0-2 4 1 6, Thompson 5-12 1-2 1 6 11, Herth 5-12 4-4 3 5 15,
Logan 1-3 0-0 2 4 2, Sykes Jr., 1-5 0-0 1 4 3, Lee 2-3 2-2 1 2 6, Senior 2-4 2-2 2 0 6, Matthews 0-4 2-2 1 0 2, Olsen 0-0 0-0 0 0 0, James 0-1 0-0 0 0 0. Team rebounds 4. Totals 21-56 12-16 20 30 56.
Halftime: Carthage 30-25. 3s: Augie 4-8 (Roth 2-2, Jurgutis 2-4, Thompson 0-1, Pils 0-1); Carthage 2-15 (Sykes Jr., 1-2, Herth 1-5, Thompson 0-1, Logan 0-1, Pierce 0-2, Matthews 0-3). Assists: Augie 12 (Ryan 3, Thompson 3); Carthage 17 (Logan 8). Turnovers: Augie 16, Carthage 15. Blocks: Augie 3 (Johnson 3); Carthage 5 (Van Wyk 2). Steals: Augie 4 (Ryan, Thompson, Johnson, Roth); Carthage 6 (Pierce 2).







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