Comeback bid falls short for Augustana Men’s Hoops at Wayne State

Sports
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WAYNE, Neb. (AUGUSTANA) – A frantic comeback bid fell just short Tuesday night as the Augustana men’s basketball team dropped its first game of the season to Wayne State, 63-59. Augustana cut a 13-point deficit to just a single basket but could not get over the final hump inside Rice Auditorium in Wayne, Nebraska.

Dylan LeBrun and Jameson Bryan each led the way with 14 points each. Augustana struggled from deep, shooting just 19 percent from 3-point range on 4-of-21 shooting. In contrast, Wayne State shot 46.2 percent from the field for the game and was led by NSIC Preseason Player of the Year Jordan Janssen.

Wayne State, picked to win the NSIC South Division, led from start to finish but the Vikings kept things close throughout. The largest deficit in the first half for AU stretched to 10 points which was just at the end of the half. After Wayne State (3-2, 1-0 NSIC) built its largest lead of the game at 13 points with 9:55 remaining, the Vikings began to mount a comeback.

With WSC holding a 54-42 lead, Augustana went on a 12-2 run to pull within two points with 1:20 on the clock. In the run, LeBrun tallied seven points with Bryan and Adam Dykman accounting for the other five.

After Dykman sank a pair of free throws for the 56-54 score, Justin Eagins hit a jumper to increase the Wildcat lead to four points. On the ensuing Viking possession, LeBrun dug in and found himself at the free-throw line where he again pulled Augustana within two points.

However, the Wildcats were able to push their lead back five points before the final 63-59 final.

The loss is the first of the year for the No. 13 Vikings, who fall to 4-1. Akoi Akoi saw his first extended action of his career with six points and seven rebounds. Double-double machine Tyler Riemersma finished just shy of his third double-double of the season with eight points and eight rebounds.

The Vikings make their home debut Friday with a 7 p.m. tip against Doane inside the Elmen Center. On Saturday, AU completes a doubleheader with the women’s team by hosting Grand View at 5 p.m., also in the Elmen Center.

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