By Brad Blume, Sports Information Director
VALLEY CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines men's basketball team nearly pulled off another last-minute comeback Saturday afternoon against Valley City State, but the Vikings were able to escape with the victory thanks to some clutch free throw shooting in the waning seconds as VCSU defeated the Hardrockers, 61-55, in Valley City, N.D.
The Hardrockers fell behind in the early goings, trailing by as much as 16 points and were down by 13 at the halftime buzzer, 36-23, but SD Mines battled over the final 20 minutes outscoring the home team, 32-25, in the losing effort. Free throws were a deciding factor in Saturday's outcome as Mines connected on 10-18 for 56 percent while Valley City hit 18-20 for 90 percent.
Individually, Philip Schanilec led the Hardrockers in scoring with 14 points and five rebounds while junior Lucas Nolan and freshman Konor Kulas both contributed with 12 points each. Junior Denis Dobkowski-Rylco tacked on eight points, including a big three-point goal in the last 30 seconds to pull SD Mines within two points, before Valley City cashed in on some late free throws to ice the game.
The loss drops the Hardrockers to 16-8 on the season and the team is back in action Sunday afternoon against Jamestown College at Jamestown, N.D. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m. (MST).