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Viterbo University
Men's Basketball - Thu, Feb. 23, 2017

February 23, 2017

La CROSSE, Wis. – No. 5 seed Dakota State (S.D.) raced to a 37-24 halftime lead over No. 4 seed Viterbo (Wis.) Thursday evening in the quarterfinal round of the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Men's Basketball Postseason Conference Tournament at R.W. Beggs Senior Gymnasium.  The Trojans held off the V-Hawks' comeback bid in the second-half, earning a 56-52 road victory and a spot in the semifinals.

Dakota State earned their seventh straight NSAA Postseason Tournament victory (won the tournament titles in the last two seasons). 

Both teams went through five lead changes and three ties in the first twelve-plus minutes, with the lead no bigger than four points held by the V-Hawks (17-13 with 8:06 left in the first-half).

The Trojans sparked a 9-0 run to grab a 22-17 lead with 5:47 remaining before intermission, thanks to Tanner Heiser's 3-pointer, a basket by Bobby Farquah and a pair of field goals by Kevin Daniels.

Austin Poehls ended DSU's scoring run with a field goal (DSU led 22-19), the Trojans went on another offensive outburst.  Dakota State outscored Viterbo 15-5 in the final 5:02 of the first-half to grab a 13-point lead by halftime.

Kyle Kilgore hit his 1,000th career point with a lay-up with 2:42 on the clock, giving DSU its first double-digit lead of the game at 31-21.

Nathaniel Rauen made a lay-up with few ticks left before intermission, giving DSU a 37-24 halftime lead.

Dakota State was 46.9 percent from the field (15-of-32 field goals) compared to Viterbo 44 percent (11-of-25).  The Trojans were 5-of-15 from the 3-point arc, while holding the V-Hawks to 1-6 3-pointers.  VU missed seven of eight free-throws in the first-half (1-of-8 free-throws) while DSU made both free-throw attempts.

Justin Folkers made a basket with 19:07 left to give Dakota State its biggest lead of the game at 39-24.

The V-Hawks went on a 20-6 scoring tear in a span of nine-and-half minutes to trim DSU's lead down to 45-44.  DSU answered back by making two consecutive baskets – one from Kilgore and another one from Folkers – to widen their lead to 49-44 with 6:10 to go.

Viterbo was able to cut DSU's lead down to 1 point, but the Trojans answered back on the following possession.  The V-Hawks scored four straight points to trim DSU's lead to 49-48 with 3:09 to go.

Kilgore answered with a jump shot to give the Trojans lead to 51-48 with less than three minutes to go.  Jake Bamke nailed down a pair of free-throws as VU trailed 51-50 with 2:41 on the clock.

Kilgore added a field goal for DSU's 53-50 lead with 2:27 left.  Erik Engelstad committed a turnover on the ensuing possession, while Ian Barse answered with a 3-pointer to put Trojans up 56-50 with 1:48 remaining.

Engelstad made a lay-up with 1:34 to go in the game as the Trojans held on to a 56-52 lead.  Both teams did not score from there as Dakota State secured on to the victory.

VU outscored DSU 28-19 in the second-half.  The Trojans and V-Hawks struggled from the field, shooting below 40 percent in the final twenty minutes of the game.  DSU was 36.4 percent from the field (8-of-22) while VU was 35.7 percent (10-of-28).

Barse led the Trojans with 17 points.  Kilgore posted a double-double of 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.  Hesier and Daniels each tallied six points.  Brendon Boomsma had five points.

Rauen grabbed seven rebounds for Dakota State.  Folkers had five rebounds.  Heiser dished out four assists and stole the ball twice.  Daniels also had two steals. 

Kilgore recorded three blocked shots in the game for DSU.  Folkers added two blocks. 

Engelstad had a double-double of 10 points and earned 15 rebounds for the V-Hawks.  Ethan Haberman added 15 points and 9 rebounds.  Bamke scored 16 points.

Poehls and Jared Fleischmann each produced six assists for Viterbo. 

Dakota State shot 42.6 percent overall from the field (23-of-54) compared to Viterbo 39.6 percent (21-of-53).  The Trojans were 6-of-22 from the 3-point line, while the V-Hawks were 2-of-14 3-pointers.

VU converted 8-of-15 free-throws (53.3 percent).  DSU was 4-of-7 free-throws (57.1 percent).

The V-Hawks outrebounded the Trojans 40-29. 

Dakota State improved their overall record to 16-15.  The Trojans move on to the North Star's semifinal round Saturday afternoon, visiting top-seed and No. 25-ranked Bellevue (Neb.) (BU defeated Presentation 92-68 Thursday evening).  Game time is set for 3 p.m. at Gordon Lozier Center in Bellevue, Neb.

Viterbo concluded their season with an overall record of 18-12.

Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director

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