No. 1 Colorado Mines cruises
Bench scores 30 points as Orediggers topple Augustana (S.D.)
GOLDEN, Colo. -- Top-ranked Colorado Mines got a big 30-point boost from its bench and committed just seven turnovers in earning an 82-69 victory against Augustana (S.D.) on Saturday evening at Lockridge Arena in Golden in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament.
Mines committed just seven turnovers in the matchup, and turned 12 Augustana (17-11) miscues into 20 points. The Orediggers also posted 38 points in the paint and recorded a 15-to-10 advantage on second-chance points.
Quite possibly the most telling statistic, however, was Mines' proficiency at the foul line, where they buried 28-of-38 free throws, compared to an 8-of-16 effort by the Vikings.
The Orediggers struggled through the first minute of the game, and fell behind 7-0 with 18:24 to go in the first half. It didn't take long for Mines to get into an offensive rhythm after the Orediggers mounted a 9-2 run through the next three minutes to knot the game up at 9-9.
A layup by Brett Green with 10:27 to play in the first half gave Mines a 10-point lead at 23-13, but the Vikings continued to battle and trimmed the CSM lead to just three points at 26-23 with 7:20 remaining in the half.
Mines continued to increase its lead through the reminder of the half and headed into the break with a 42-32 advantage.
The Vikings came out of the break on fire and quickly erased Mines' 10-point advantage, tying up the ballgame at 47-47 with 14:03 to play.
A 3-point basket by Brian Muller gave Mines a 63-54 lead, and after an Augustana turnover, Muller drove to the basket and found a wide open Luke Meisch for a layup -- putting the Orediggers up 65-54 with 7:14 remaining. The Orediggers would not see their lead dip below seven points the rest of the way in adding to their school record for wins in a season.
Mines was led by Dale Minschwaner and his 23-point, nine-rebound performance. He finished 8-of-13 from the floor, 7-of-11 from the foul line and also added a block in 30 minutes of action.
Brian Muller added 16 points on 3-of-8 shooting from the field, including a 3-of-7 effort from 3-point land. Trevor Ritchie added 10 and Luke Meisch added 11 to account for the four Orediggers in double figures.
Brett Green, Minschwaner and Trevor Wages added eight, nine and eight rebounds, respectively.