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Blue Devils get win on the road

Slow start but fast finish over Anoka-Ramsey

By Scott A. Kolb

skolb@postbulletin.com

ANOKA — The Riverland men’s basketball team is now riding a two-game winning streak after Saturday’s victory over Anoka-Ramsey.

Riverland rallied from a first half deficit to win 78-72 in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, South Division game. The visiting Riverland Blue Devils made a dozen 3-pointers on the day.

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Although the game would eventually be won for the Blue Devils with their outside shooting, it didn’t start out that way. The A-R Golden Rams made five 3-pointers in the first half and jumped out to a double-digit lead.

"We got off to a slow start and they were up by 15 points midway through the first half," Riverland coach Dan Swift said. "They shot 50-percent from the arc in the first half and we had to climb out of a big hole. The guys hung in there and we cut it back to a two-point deficit at halftime."

The Blue Devils stayed close throughout the initial stages of the second half, then they took over from beyond the arc. Derek Hahn bombed in five treys on the day and Riverland improved to 2-8 in division play.

Jason Simmons led the way to victory for the Blue Devils with a game-high 31 points. Hahn finished with 15, and Brian Voigt was also in double figures with 14 points in the road win.

"We controlled the game over the last nine minutes and got up by as many as 10 points," Swift said. "They hit a couple of late threes, but we made our free throws down the stretch to close it out. We overcame the rough start and finished at 24-for-58 shooting from the field. It was another solid effort on the road and the guys really played well in the second half."

Riverland (7-17 overall) plays host to the top-ranked team in the country, the Minneapolis Mavericks, on Wednesday night at the Austin campus.

RIVERLAND (78)

Jason Simmons 31, Derek Hahn 15, Brian Voigt 14, Chris Moragne 8, Danny DeWitz 7, Spencer Monson 3.

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ANOKA-RAMSEY (72)

Mike Kizzee 25, Antonio Tate 18, Erik Vinh 16, Mohamed Camara 5, Cole Alexander 4, Brian Smith 2.

Halftime — A-R 35, Riverland 33.

Three-point goals — RIV 12-26 (Hahn 5, Simmons 3, DeWitz 1, Moragne 1, Monson 1, Voigt 1). AR 8-23 (Kizzee 4, Tate 3, Vinh 1).

Free throws — Riverland 18-22, AR 9-17.

Rebounds — RIV 42 (Simmons 12); AR 30.

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