Jan 13th, 2006 @ 12:09 pm | Author: Kory Foss, Vikings Sports News
Valley City- The Valley City State University men’s basketball team knew coming into Thursdays match-up with Mayville State that if they were going to come away a victory it was going to take a total team effort. The Comets have been ranked as high as 10th in the nation in recent polls and have been dominating most of their opponents along the way.

The Vikings hung tough all night long with the Comets but eventually fell 77-72 to a Mayville team that had won their five previous Dakota Athletic Conference games by an average of 18 points.

VCSU (8-10, 2-5) trailed by eight at halftime but stormed out of the gates in the second half scoring the first seven points to cut the Comet lead to 37-36 with just over 16 minutes left to play.

Mayville State (16-3, 6-1) double-teamed Vikings leading scorer Brandon Bata all night, holding the senior scoreless in the first half, but Bata found his way to the basket in the second half and cut the Mayville lead to 63-60 after a big basket down-low with 4:30 left. Viking guard Justin Curry sparked the Vikings again with a lay-in and a foul, hitting the free throw to make the score 67-65 in favor of the Comets with a little over two minutes remaining.

That was close as VCSU would come however, as a long three-pointer by Mayville’s Ronald Howard on the next possession gave the Comets a five point lead and Mayville held on over the last two minutes, winning by a final of 77-72.

Sophomore guard Brady Ernst led the Vikings offensively with 21 points on the night, while Curry added 17.

The Vikings were not happy with the loss but knew that the close game against a quality opponent was a stride forward for the team.

'We’re disappointed with the loss, but we had our heads up after the game,' Vikings forward Brandon Bata said. 'Mayville’s a good team, but we also have a good team. If we eliminate some of the mistakes I believe we are as good, if not better, than any team out there.'

The Vikings take on the University of Mary in Bismarck on January 20th and will get back into conference action January 27th at home against Dakota State.