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UND MEN: Harrison, Hoy run past Vikings

UND men's basketball coach Brian Jones and Sioux senior forward Jimmy Hoy didn't want to call it getting a monkey off their back. Instead, both said it was like shedding a gorilla. The Sioux picked up their first North Central Conference victory ...

UND men's basketball coach Brian Jones and Sioux senior forward Jimmy Hoy didn't want to call it getting a monkey off their back.

Instead, both said it was like shedding a gorilla.

The Sioux picked up their first North Central Conference victory of the season behind O.J. Harrison's career-high 18 points, Hoy's season-high 15 and a new-found transition game in a 76-72 win over Augustana on Saturday in front of 2,311 Betty Engelstad Sioux Center fans.

"That's a huge confidence boost," said Harrison, who played in his first game after missing 20 days and four league games while attending to his child's illness. "(Augustana) is a good team."

The Vikings dropped to 16-6 overall and 4-3 in the NCC.

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UND, which improved to 12-9 and 1-5, made the big baskets it needed down the stretch.

The key score came from Hoy, who drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner on a kickout from Emmanuel Little for a 72-65 lead with 1:04 left. Hoy had missed badly from the same spot earlier in the half, bouncing a shot off the side of the backboard.

"That first shot was absolutely horrid," said Hoy, who made 5 of 7 shots from the field. "But every chance you get, you have to have the confidence to shoot it."

Hoy's basket sent Augustana scrambling, and the Vikings made the Sioux earn it in the final minute.

Augustana quickly responded with a 3-pointer by David Foster out of an inbounds play to cut the lead to 72-68 with 45 seconds left. After one free throw each from Ben Lehnertz and Little, Augustana's Corey McIntosh hit an awkward off-balance 3-pointer to trim the lead to 74-71 with 22 seconds to go.

McIntosh stole a Travis Bledsoe pass on UND's ensuing possession and was fouled. He made his first of two free throws to make it 74-72 with 19 seconds left.

But Darius Joseph iced it for the Sioux with two free throws with 15 seconds left for the final margin.

"UND played well," Augustana coach Tom Billeter said. "Every chance we had to get in the game, they made a play. That shot from Hoy was huge and (Harrison) hit big shots."

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The Vikings, who trailed 36-34 at halftime, shot only 34 percent from the field. Foster led Augustana with 22 points, followed by McIntosh with 21.

McIntosh, a transfer from Iowa State, was 6-for-15 from the field, including 4-for-7 from the 3-point line.

The Sioux amped up their transition game against Augustana. Despite its slow-down, Princeton-style offense, Jones encouraged the running game.

"That's the way I like to coach, and the players like it," Jones said. "Instead of worrying about the tempo, I just wanted them to work hard."

As a result, the Sioux were able to take advantage of their athletic lineup.

"I think that was the difference, I really do," Harrison said. "We were able to get out and run."

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