Men’s basketball concludes busy weekend with loss to the Johnnies

Kevin Sethre, Contributor

The men’s basketball team has been on a good run lately, winning five of six games before falling to St. John’s on Monday. The Auggies went to Carleton on Jan. 31, took the lead early in the game and won 76–69. Kevin McKiernan scored 13 points, giving him over 1,000 in his career at Augsburg.

On Saturday, Martin Mitchell scored a career-high 30 points, Booker Coplin added 26 and the Auggies beat St. Mary’s 90–80. One of the most important aspects of the game was getting to the freethrow line. The Auggies took 25 free throws and made 21 of them while the visiting Cardinals only took four freethrows, making two of them. McKiernan had another good game, scoring 16 of his 19 points in the second half while making some crucial baskets down the stretch. The Auggie bench outscored the Cardinal bench 32–5 in the win.

On Monday, Coplin scored 37 points, his sixth time scoring over 30 this season, but the Auggies still lost to St. John’s 82–71. Matt Carik nearly had a double-double, scoring nine points and recording eight assists. The Johnnies led 40–32 at halftime when Coplin came out hot, scoring the first seven points of the half to bring Augsburg within one. However, St. John’s held on and eventually pulled away thanks to 54.4 percent shooting. The Johnnies also got a boost from their bench which outscored Augsburg’s bench 21–9.

Despite the loss, Augsburg still clinched a spot in the MIAC playoffs. The Auggies currently stand tied for third place in the standings with Bethel. Both teams have an 11–5 record in conference play and are 4.5 games ahead of seventh-place Hamline with only four games left.

Booker Coplin currently leads the MIAC in points per game and is tied for first in rebounds per game.  He is also top-five in assists and steals. He needs only 69 more points to reach 1,000 in his Augsburg career. The Auggies face off with St. Thomas on Saturday at 3 p.m. in St Paul.

This article was originally published in the Feb. 8, 2019 issue.