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MBK: USF/Augie Round Two

January 22, 2014, 10:49 PM by Cat Clark

MBK: USF/Augie Round Two

The Vikings currently hold a 4-3 advantage over the Cougars in the Mayor's Cup standings. This Friday night points, bragging rights, recruits, and conference standings will be on the line.

Since 1922 Augustana and the University of Sioux Falls have been going at each other on the hardwood. The rivalry was renewed five years ago and the coaches are each taking a different approach this time around.

"I learned a long time ago in my first year here not to try and down play this game, because it doesn't work with your guys. They want to play well," USF Men's Head Coach Chris Johnson said.

"For us it's another conference game. How much can you enjoy the rivalry when less than 24 hours later you have to play a team you're tied with for first place in the conference? It's not like you can beat them and think it's the greatest win ever, you do that you're going to stub your toe the next night," Augustana Men's Head Coach Tom Billeter said.

The Vikings hold a 29-27 series record over their rivals seven blocks to the north after their 96-77 win earlier this season. The Vikes know the Coo is out for revenge.

"In the back of our heads we know it's a rivalry, but there hasn't been anything too bad off the court. We know that they are going to give us their best shot, so we need to come in with the mindset of playing our best game of the year," Vikings Senior Forward Yuriy Malashenko said.

"Each team is going to go in there ready for a fist fight like coach always says. We have to be ready, we have to be mentally prepared, and physically prepared for battle," Cougars Senior Forward Alex Robey said.

The round two battle will take place at the Elmen Center making it a home game for Augie, whose arena holds twice as many rowdy fans.

"Go get your ticket, because it is going to be another fun atmosphere. Last year it was awesome and the first game of this season was awesome as well. I'm hoping for another good crowd here this weekend," Cougars Senior Derek Brown said.

"We played in front of 1,400 in their gym and we will probably play in front of 4,000 in ours. It's going to be a way different environment I'll tell that," Vikings Sophomore Casey Schilling said.

The women are set to tip off at six o'clock with the men to follow at 8 o'clock Friday night.

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