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Augustana starts fast, hands Dragon men eighth consecutive loss

MOORHEAD—Minnesota State Moorhead lost for the eighth consecutive time Friday night at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse, but Dragons head coach Chad Walthall saw some promise.

Jordan Spencer and Matt Cartwright combined for 47 points to lead Augustana to a 95-85 victory in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men's basketball before 1,077 fans.

"I'm encouraged by our effort," Walthall said. "I see some things where we had a little more flow. ... I saw some things that were positive."

The Dragons (4-13, 2-9 NSIC) haven't won since Dec. 8 when it earned an 81-78 home victory against Minnesota-Crookston.

"This has been hard for everybody, but I'm as proud of these guys as any team I've had as far as how they've handled it," said Walthall, who led the Dragons to at least a share of the North Division title the four previous seasons.

Augustana shot 64 percent from the field in the first half to build a 51-38 halftime lead. The Vikings led by as many as 18 points in the first 20 minutes and scored 20 of the game's first 24 points. Augustana built a 20-4 lead after senior guard Steven Schaefer drained a 3-pointer with a little more than 13 minutes to play until halftime.

The Vikings had three players with double digits in points by halftime. Cartwright led the way with 13 points, while Spencer added 11 and Schaefer chipped in 10. Spencer finished with 24 points, while Cartwright added a career-high 23.

"They are an outstanding offensive team. They've got a point guard who is an All-American type player," said Walthall, referring to Spencer.

Senior guard Tanner Kretchman paced the Dragons with a game-high 25 points, including 5-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. MSUM hosts Wayne State (10-9, 5-6) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Nemzek to close out the conference weekend.

"If they keep playing as hard as they did tonight, it will flip," Walthall said. "It's just they've got to keep that consistency."

AU (11-6, 6-5 NSIC): Warren 3-10 2-2 9, Spencer 9-14 1-1 24, Schaefer 7-11 0-0 17, Asmus 4-6 3-3 11, Dykman 2-3 1-2 5, Cartwright 9-15 0-0 23, Bryan 1-2 0-0 2, Gerald 0-0 0-0 0, Kerkman 1-1 2-2 4, Behrends 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-62 9-10 95.

MSUM (4-13, 2-9): Beeninga 6-15 0-0 12, Kretchman 7-10 6-7 25, Coad 3-7 7-10 13, Anderson 0-5 0-0 0, Park 6-13 0-0 13, Bussman 4-6 0-0 10, Johnson 4-5 0-0 12, Sevlie 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-61 13-17 85.

Half: AU 51, MSUM 38. 3-point goals: AU 14-28 (Warren 1-5, Spencer 5-7, Schaefer 3-4, Cartwright 5-11, Bryan 0-1), MSUM 12-21 (Beeninga 0-4, Kretchman 5-6, Coad 0-1, Anderson 0-2, Park 1-1, Bussman 2-3, Johnson 4-4). Total fouls: AU 20, MSUM 14. Rebounds: AU 30 (Asmus 8), MSUM 20 (Coard 10). Assists: AU 16 (Spencer 7), MSUM 12 (Park 3, Bussman 3). Steals: AU 3 (Warren 2), MSUM 3 (three players with 1). Turnovers: AU 7 (Asmus 3), MSUM 9 (Beeninga 4).

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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