Since coach Jeff Kaminsky took charge of the Valley City State University mens basketball team in 2005, the Vikings have prided themselves on defense.
While the defense was plentiful Saturday at W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse, it was the offense that never seemed to rest as the No. 24 Vikings had a 111-61 win over Oglala Lakota (S.D.) College.
It was the highest-scoring game the Vikings have had since a 99-56 home win against Trinity Bible College last season and the first time the Vikings have broken the 100-point mark since the 2004-2005 season-opener.
“There’s obviously some things we’ve got to clean up, we’ve got too many turnovers, but overall it was a game where we just took care of business,” Kaminsky said. “That’s good as you get into this stretch run. We have got 20 days left in the regular season and you don’t want to be going up and down at this point. The rollercoaster part of the season needs to be over.”
In their last game before hosting rival Jamestown College Wednesday, the Vikings found their shot from all over the floor. All 10 VCSU players that entered the game scored at least four points and eight finished with at least eight.
It was a different story from when the teams played Jan. 6 in Kyle, S.D., with the Vikings getting a 92-82 win.
Kaminsky said the focus was on defense and limiting the Bravehearts to less than 62 points.
“We challenged our guys to make our defensive goal, which is under 62, so we did that, and we knew we’d be able to score, so we took care of things on the defensive end and took care of the ball, and a lot of good things happened for us,” he said.
Getting to the defensive goal was a matter of grabbing rebounds and forcing turnovers.
VCSU got on the board almost immediately with a 3-pointer from Sekani Milligen, then had a layup from Gus Kueber to go up 5-0. Dillan Ostrom had a second-chance layup and a Kueber had a dunk to open the game on a 9-2 run. Kueber’s opening dunk was whistled for a technical foul, though, as he was ruled to have hung on the rim too long.
The Vikings kept at it, allowing only three offensive boards in the first half from Oglala and one more in the fourth. VCSU finished with 53 rebounds to 28 from Oglala.
Ostrom led the efforts on the boards, grabbing 10 rebounds and finishing with a double double after scoring 10 points, many of those on second-chance opportunities.
VCSU also forced 22 turnovers, including 15 steals, giving up only 15 turnovers of their own.
Offensively, the balance was around the court. Milligen finished with 32 points. Behind him were Aaron Duske with 12, Kueber and John Raquel with 11 each, and Ostrom.
Ty Pratt was within rang with nine points and Chris Embden and Patrick Rogers had eight points each.
“We really stressed moving the ball and being unselfish,” Kaminsky said. “In a game like this, a lot times it’s easy to settle for the first good shot and we really stressed ball movement and getting a great shot.”
It was the first time the Vikings scored more than 100 points since 2004, according to VCSU’s internet-based statistics.
The last game to break the barrier was a 101-99 overtime win against the University of Great Falls (Mont.) at the Bubble on Oct. 30, 2004. It was the season before Kaminsky and assistant Nathan Stover took charge of the program.
Tyrone Terry led VCSU in that game with 30 points and Matt Klabo had a double double with 26 points and 13 rebounds.