Milligen hurt, but Viking men beat Johnson & Wales
The Valley City State University mens basketball team didn't have the best looking win Sunday against Johnson and Wales (Colo.) University.
After leading the game by 17 points at halftime, the Vikings were outscored 30-17 in the second half, primarily because of cold shooting.
The Vikings still finished ahead with a 57-47 score and VCSU coach Jeff Kaminsky was pleased nonetheless. It was the team's second win in as many days.
"The game's going to look ugly when you're not making shots," Kaminsky said. "We didn't have a smooth second half, yet after the first few minutes we did a good job of not allowing them go on a run, despite our ineffectiveness we had making shots and finishing plays on the offensive end.
"That's still winning basketball. There are going to be nights where things don't flow as well offensively."
Early on, the Vikings had few problems.
Within the first minute, they were up 5-2 on points from Sekani Milligen and Aaron Duske.
By the time Jason Perkins hit two free throws following a foul on a second-chance lay up attempt with 4:03 left in the half, the Vikings were up 28-12, and eventually ended the half up 34-17.
But the second half was the problem.
Early on, the Vikings had problems simply getting shots to land despite early open looks. Rebounding issues kept the team from getting many follow up looks early in the half.
"When we started the second half, we really executed well," Kaminsky said. "We got a great look to start the half, which we wanted for Sekani. He just missed it. He's not going to make every jump shot. We got a great look inside for Aaron and he missed it. You're not going to make every shot.
"The thing I was disappointed in, we didn't get those second shot opportunities early and clean up our mess offensively."
Johnson and Wales opened the quarter with a run to narrow VCSU's lead to 40-29.
With 12:35 left in the game, Milligen was injured going for a dunk.
As Milligen went up for the dunk on the fast break, Johnson and Wales guard Jake Campbell collided with him from behind, causing Milligen to fall and hit his head on the floor.
Milligen left the floor on his own power after shooting the free throws and later returned to the bench, but did not play after the incident. Campbell was given a technical foul.
As of Sunday night, Kaminsky was unsure of Milligen's status for the Dakota Athletic Conference Tip Off tournament this weekend.
The two teams went back and forth trading baskets late, but the Valley City defense didn't let the Wildcats within eight points.
The Vikings finished the game 20-55 from the floor, but shot only 29.2 percent in the second half.
Duske was the only Viking to finish in double digit scoring, with 10 points. Sylvester Walker had nine.
Corey Puckett led Johnson and Wales with 19 and Cody Derner had 10.