Your Dragons are NSIC North Champions

Come for Home Playoff Game Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Sophomore Tyler Vaughan’s three-point play with 25 seconds left provided the game-winning points as the Minnesota State University Moorhead men’s basketball team edged Mary, 95-94 in an overtime thriller Saturday night in Moorhead, Minn. The win gave the Dragons the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division title, the first for the MSUM men since the 1981-82 season.

The win also clinched the No. 1 seed from the NSIC North Division for the Dragons (19-7, 15-7 NSIC North). The Dragons earned the seed as a result of sweeping St. Cloud State and having an 11-3 division record. They will host Concordia-St. Paul in the opening round of NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Vaughan paced the Dragons with a career-high 26 points. Sophomore center Isaac Sevlie added 16 points while senior guard Tarell Clark added 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Ngijol Songolo and freshman forward Aaron Lien had 11 points each off the bench. Clark, junior guard Malik Wood and Sevlie had three assists each.

MSUM shot 50 percent (32-of-64), compared to 58.6 percent (34-of-58) for the Marauders (7-20, 5-17 NSIC). The Dragons had a 33-28 edge on the glass.

The thrilling finish came after MSUM faced a 93-90 deficit with 2:26 left. A layup by senior Taylor Filipek brought MSUM within one at 93-92 with 1:57 left.

The Marauders hit 1-of-2 free throws to push the lead to 94-92; moments later Vaughan converted the three-point play with 25 seconds left to put MSUM up 95-94. The Dragons then got the critical stop in the closing seconds, forcing a miss by Chris Mason, to clinch the one-point win.

MSUM led 39-33 at halftime, thanks to 13 points from Vaughan and 11 points from Songolo. That lead grew to 53-41 with 15:14 left after Lien hit the second of back-to-back threes.

Mary made a run to cut the Dragon lead to two with 10:47 left, and from there, the game was tight the rest of the way. The Marauders tied the game in the closing seconds of regulation to send it to overtime.

Wood added nine points for MSUM.

The Dragons host Concordia at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Nemzek to open the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament.

Steve d’Eustachio Stat of the Game: Senior Tarell Clark’s career highs for points and rebounds in his two seasons as a Dragon have been recent. Clark scored a career best 28 points when the Dragons thumped Minnesota Crookston 87-63 back on Jan. 18 and pulled down 18 boards versus Upper Iowa back on Jan. 31 and against Minnesota-Duluth on Feb. 8. Senior Taylor Filipek’s career rebounding best (11) was in the same victory over Minnesota-Crookston. He scored his career high 19 points while helping his Dragons to an 82-70 victory at the University of Mary on Dec. 8, 2012.

Note: MSUM’s two seniors, Tarell Clark and Taylor Filipek, were honored prior to the game as part of Senior Day. MSUM’s student manager, Brandon Tharp, was also honored.