Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 10:02 am | Author: Mark Potts, Sports Information Director
What: VCSU basketball vs Minnesota-Morris
When: 2/4 p.m. at the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
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After more than a month of road games, the Valley City State men’s and women’s basketball teams are back in the friendly confines of the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse this weekend.

VCSU welcomes NCAA Division III opponent University of Minnesota-Morris to the bubble Saturday for a 2/4 p.m. doubleheader. It is the first home game for the Viking women since Nov. 22, and the first home game for the Viking men since Nov. 19.

The Viking women defeated Viterbo University 83-50 in that last home game back on Nov. 22. Since then, VCSU has posted a 2-2 record. The Vikings lost at Dickinson State 70-57, but then won at Minnesota-Morris by the same score, 70-57.

Following Christmas, the women’s basketball team traveled to California for a pair of games. The Vikings lost 78-67 to No. 22-ranked Menlo College, but bounced back with a 70-47 win against Cal-Maritime to wrap up the long road stretch.

VCSU returns to their home court with a 5-6 record ahead of the rematch with Minnesota-Morris.

The Vikings were in control most of the game back on Dec. 20 in Morris. VCSU built an 11-point lead at halftime and kept the Cougars at bay in the second half. Stephanie Pedersen led four Vikings in double figures. The junior from Mandan scored 15 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out three assists in the victory.

Brittany Lehner added 12 points and five rebounds. Ashli Lee and Courtney Dixon both chipped in 10 points. The Vikings got a solid game from point guard Sadiqah Jihad, who had eight points, six assists and five steals in the victory. As a team, the Vikings shot 46 percent from the field and committed just 15 turnovers.

The Viking men last played at home on Nov. 19 when they fell 60-57 against Dickinson State. Since that game, the Vikings have posted a 2-4 record, picking up victories at Oglala Lakota College (95-54) and Minnesota-Morris (68-67).

The Vikings are coming off a sixth-place finish at the Wesmen Classic in Winnipeg. The Vikings lost to Manitoba 71-62 in the opening round, defeated Lakeland College 80-65 in the consolation semifinals, and then closed with a 77-59 loss to Brandon University in the consolation championship.

VCSU has a 3-9 overall record entering today’s rematch with Minnesota-Morris. The first meeting with the Cougars was an instant classic that went the way of the Vikings. Trailing 52-42, the Vikings closed the game on a 26-15 run in the final 14 minutes, stepping up their defensive effort for the 68-67 win.

Three different Vikings scored in double figures, led by 18 points from AJ McDonald. Jeff Romeus had 16 points and four steals off the bench, and Aaron Duske posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Vikings shot 41 percent in the victory and committed just eight turnovers.

McDonald is one of two Vikings averaging double figures this season. The junior guard is scoring 15.7 points per game and 4.5 assists per game from the point guard position.

Senior Aaron Duske is averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds a game. Romeus scores 9 points a game, and Mac Kroeplin, Jeremy Ware and Russell Robinson all average 7 points a game for VCSU.