Dragons open up playoffs with two victories

BY TURNER BLAUFUSS
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Freshman guard Aaron Lien throws down a dunk in the Dragons’ postseason opener.

Freshman guard Aaron Lien throws down a dunk in the Dragons’ postseason opener.

The Dragons started off their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health
Tournament playoff campaign with a pair of wins.

The Dragons started off their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health Tournament playoff campaign with a pair of wins.

The Dragons had a tough time  finding  their  stride  in  the first  game,  but  locked  down defensively and made use of their trips to the foul line.

In the first half Concordia was shooting lights out, but  MSUM put on the clamps in the second half to preserve the win. The Bears took a few stabs at trimming the lead, but ultimately couldn’t catch up.

Junior guard Prescott  Williams looks to pass during the Dragons’ opening game of the postseason. The Dragons defeated the Golden Bears  at home 68-64 to advance to play in Sioux Falls, S.D. at The Pentagon in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/ Sanford Health tournament.

Junior guard Prescott
Williams looks to pass during the Dragons’ opening game of the postseason. The Dragons defeated the Golden Bears
at home 68-64 to advance to play in Sioux Falls, S.D. at The Pentagon in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/
Sanford Health tournament.

“It  was  a  real  test,  and  we missed  a  lot  of  shots,”  head coach Chad Walthall said. “Congratulations to our guys for somehow finding a way.”

The Dragons received an excellent effort from Malik Wood as he turned in 16 points with four assists. Wood had an impressive outing as he was reunited with backcourt member Jordan Riewer, who had just returned from an injury. Riewer scored four points,but they were all at the charit stripe down the stretch.

“In the first half (Wood) struggled a  bit,  but the second  half  he ran our offense the way a point guard should,” Walthall said.  “It’s  great to have (Riewer) back, and we just got to find a good flow. Our guys
stepped up at the end of the game and knocked down free throws.”

Advance to quarterfinals
The  quarterfinals  of  the tournament saw the Dragons shut down the Upper Iowa Peacocks  in  Sioux  Falls, S.D.  MSUM  held  the  prolific Peacocks  well  under  their  86 points per game average.

“We played really well defensively,  especially  in  the first  half,  and  I  thought  that was  the  key  to  the  game,” Walthall said.

MSUM’s  defense  was complimented  by  a  balanced scoring effort, with five players finishing  in  double  figures. Prescott  Williams  and  Urbane Bingham led the Dragons with 13 apiece, Tarell Clark and Tyler Vaughan followed with 11 each, and Riewer added 10.

“We were very balanced. That was  key  because  they shuffle a lot of players, so we had to match their balance,” Walthall said. “Everyone  played  very  well,  and that helped us a lot.”

At the time of publication The Advocate did not know the result of
Monday’s  game  between MSUM and Winona State in the semifinal round of the tournament

“Either way we know it’s going to be a great game against a great team,” Walthall said.

Check  out  The  Advocate’s Facebook and Twitter pages to see how the Dragons did on Monday.

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