BEMIDJI, Minn. (AUGIE) – It was an untimely ending for the Augustana men’s basketball team as it fell 92-88 at Bemidji State in the opening round of the NSIC Basketball Tournament. The Vikings see their season end with a 15-14 record. Bemidji State moves on with its 19-10 record.

In a contest that saw few missed shots, the Vikings shot 54.5 percent from the field on 30-of-55 shooting. That was simply upstaged by BSU who shot 31-of-51 for 60.8 percent from the field. In addition, both squads made 11 or more 3-point field goals while shooting better than 50 percent from deep.

The Vikings were led by Jadan Graves and his 27 points while Ryan Miller totaled 24 points in his final career game. Isaac Fink closed out the double-figure scorers with 15 points. Graves also dished a game-high seven assists.

Augustana jumped out to a 14-5 lead in the opening minutes of the game, thanks to a 10-0 run with baskets from Miller, Graves and free throws from Fink. However, that 10-0 run was answered directly by Bemidji State and the two squads were off to the races.

Bemidji State pushed a six-point lead at 34-28 with 6:15 to go in the first half, but AU responded by going on a 13-2 run to take a 41-36 advantage over a four-minute period. Graves had a jumper to knot the game at 36 all while a pair of free throws from Caden Hinker regained the lead for AU. The run was capped by a Sam Rensch 3-point field goal with 2:46 remaining in the half.

The Beavers closed the half by sinking a 3-point basket to enter the intermission leading 49-47.

That momentum to end the half carried into the start of the second frame as BSU opened a 54-47 lead. However, a 9-2 AU run knotted the game at 56-all. An old-fashioned 3-point play from Eric Tiedman was instrumental in the run and the game was tied up on a Miller trey.

Bemidji State then went on another mini-run and opened its largest lead of the game of nine points at 73-64 with 11:31 remaining. After an Augustana timeout, the ship steadied and the Vikings cut that deficit to just three points with 4:42 on the clock thanks to a layup by Akoi Akoi.

However, every time the Vikings would get within striking distance, the Beavers had an answer including with seven seconds left after Graves hit a floating 3-point basket to pull AU within two points. Bemidji State had a just over 50 percent free throw shooter swish both shots from the charity stripe to seal the game at 92-88.

Augustana saw Miller and Tiedman play their final games as the duo exhaust their athletic eligibility.