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Magee Exeeds 1,000 Points; Aurora Makes Div. III Tourney
March 4, 2009 - The Aurora University Spartans men’s basketball team defeated the Wisconsin Lutheran Warriors 82-79 Saturday night to win the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament and secure their third consecutive NCAA Division III Championship bid.
Former Knightstown High School basketball players Dusty Magee and Shane Roland star for the Spartans and both scored double figures in the game. Magee also surpassed the 1,000 point career scoring mark during the game.
The Spartans jumped out to a 12-6 lead early in the game behind strong play from junior guard Lance Robinson and senior forward Chad Trudo.
The Warriors, however, would fight back and make the score 19-15 at the midway point due in large part to their strong three-point shooting. Yet, the Spartans, behind three pointers from Trudo and junior guard Dusty Magee, would go on a 15-7 run to make the score 34-22 with three minutes left in the first half.
The Spartans would take a 38-27 lead into halftime. Trudo led all scorers with 17 points and Robinson chipped in 10.
The inspired Warriors came out of halftime and promptly cut into the Spartan lead, making the score 48-43 with 15 minutes left in regulation.
The Warriors, behind streaky three point shooting, would pull within two points of the Spartans with nine minutes remaining, and they would tie the game at 63-63 with eight minutes left on the clock.
But the Spartans would regain the lead behind Magee and Trudo, and with one minute remaining, AU led 77-74. With five seconds left, two Trudo free throws would clinch the Spartan victory and make the final score 82-79.
Top Spartan performers included Trudo (27 points), Magee ( 20 points), and junior forward Shane Roland (10 points).
Magee became the 28th and newest member of the AU 1,000 point club. He entered the club with his second basket of the night in the first half with 9:44 to play in the contest.
The Aurora University Spartan Men's Basketball team, currently 16-12 overall and winners of the 2008-09 Northern Athletics Conference automatic bid learned of their NCAA Division III Men's Basketball opponent when the NCAA selection committee announced the bracket for the field of 60 Monday morning.
The Spartans will travel to the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota for first and second round contests on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7. AU will open up against the University of St. Thomas (27-0) from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) at 8 p.m. on Friday evening. The other two participants in the St. Thomas quad are the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (23-4) from the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) taking on Cornell College (21-6) from the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference at 6 p.m. on Friday night. The winner's of game one and game two will take on each other at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
AU has made three consecutive appearances, four in five seasons, five in seven and seventh overall since 1997-1998. The appearance is also AU’s third as a member of the Northern Athletics Conference. AU defeated Wisconsin Lutheran College 82-79 in the NAC tournament championship game to capture the 2008-09 NAC tournament title.
In his 15 seasons at the helm of the men's program, James Lancaster has a school record 278 wins (278-121/.699). This will be Coach Lancaster’s eighth appearance in the NCAA tournament, seven times as head coach of the men’s basketball team and once as head coach of the Aurora women’s basketball team.
The Spartans are led by senior guard Chad Trudo (19.0 points and 4.4 rebounds), junior forward and former Knightstown Panther Shane Roland (15.4 points and 5.9 rebounds), junior guard and former Panther Dusty Magee (15.3 points and 2.2 assists) and junior forward Lance Robinson (7.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists).
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