SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (UA) – The Augustana men’s basketball team moved into first place of the NSIC by beating the league’s previous first-place team at its own game. Augustana topped No. 9 Minnesota Duluth 89-80 inside the Sanford Pentagon Friday night.

The Bulldogs entered as the league’s top-scoring offense at just over 88 points a game. Defensively, UMD entered giving up just under 68 points per outing. Augustana broke both of those averages.

With the win, the No. 20 Vikings move to 14-2 on the season and 8-2 within the NSIC. Minnesota Duluth falls to 16-2, 9-2.

In front of an electric crowd inside the Sanford Pentagon, Augustana trailed for just under two minutes of the contest and controlled 35 minutes of game clock. With the score tied at 22, Bennett Otto hit a jumper to give the Vikings a lead it would lose for the rest of the game.

However, getting there was something the crowd enjoyed.

The lead jumped to 11 points in the opening half when Adam Dykman scored on a jump show for a 54-43 advantage with 49 seconds left in the half. After a brief back-and-forth, AU entered intermission holding a 55-46 lead.

Coming out of the break, Augustana went on a 13-2 run to open a 20-point advantage, the largest lead of the game. The double-digit cushion lasted until the clock showed six minutes remaining when Lincoln Meister scored on a field goal in the paint to cut the Vikings’ lead to just nine points at 77-68.

The game continued to slow over the next three minutes, allowing the Bulldogs to cut the lead to just four points at 82-78 with 3:36 left in regulation. Augustana would allow just one more basket for the remainder of the game.

In addition to the strong defense of getting stops, the offense sank free throws with Isaac Fink going 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. Riemersma added a jumper which provided the final spread of nine points at 89-90.

The offense was jump-started by 18 first-half points from Fink while AU shot 69.4 percent from the field. For the game, Augustan shot 53.6 percent from the field on 37-of-69 made field goals.

Fink led the way with a game-high 25 points. He was joined in double figures by three other starters with Riemersma tallying 19, Adam Dykman 15 and Jameson Bryan 11. Riemersma completed his 29th career double-double with 10 rebounds. Bryan added five assists against zero turnovers and totaled three steals.

Minnesota Duluth shot 53.2 percent from the field, making 33 field goals.

Both teams dominated the paint, with Augustana scoring 48 points and UMD 42 points. A major difference came in the turnover battle as Augustana forced 16 turnovers, turning those into 24 points. The Vikings committed just seven turnovers, whereas UMD scored just seven points off those turnovers.

Augustana returns to the Sanford Pentagon on Saturday for a 5:30 p.m. contest with St. Cloud State. The Huskies are coming off an 83-59 loss at Wayne State Friday night.