SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA - The University of Dubuque Men's Basketball team opened the 2013-14 season in convincing fashion on Friday night. The Spartans used a 10-2 run to open the second half to coast to a 88-70 victory over North Central University (Minn) at the Northwestern Tip-Off Tournament. Brandon Ferguson (Gurnee, Ill./Warren Township) led four Spartans in double figures with 18 points off the bench. UD finished the game shooting 50.0% from the field.
Senior Mitch Michaelis (LeClaire, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) moved to within 35 points of 1,000 career points with his 15 point game. He also pulled down a team high seven rebounds. Michaelis finished with three steals and made 5-6 from the free throw line. Michaelis played a major part in the Spartans 10-2 run to start the second half with a layup to start the run and assisted on three pointers by Chris Frazier (Heidelberg, Germany/Heidelberg) and Andre Norris (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield Central).
The Spartans and North Central exchanged lead changes a combined 14 times in the first half before a 5-0 run by UD gave them a 45-41 lead heading into halftime.
Norris scored 16 points on 6-9 shooting from the floor including two three pointers. Norris' second three put UD ahead by 18 with 8:02 left to give UD its largest lead of the game. Frazier chipped in with 14 points including a game high four three-pointers in 28 minutes of action. Lucas Ware (Platteville, Wis./Platteville) finished with a team high seven rebounds.
The UD bench accounted for 31 points with Ferguson scoring 18 on 6-7 shooting from the floor and making 6-8 from the free throw line. Ferguson also had a team high four steals. Gage Heffernan (Dubuque, Iowa/Hempstead) scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds, and blocked two shots in his Spartans debut.
UD took control of the game for good with an 11-3 lead over a three minute stretch in the middle of the second half in which Ferguson scored seven points. The Spartans led by double figures for the final 15 minutes of the second half.
Defensively the Spartans forced 13 turnovers which led to 16 points and a 8-2 advantage in fast break points.
UP NEXT: The Spartans will finish the weekend tournament with Northwestern University-St. Paul on Saturday at 7:00 pm. LIVE Video is available at: UD-Northwestern Men’s Basketball
LIVE Stats at: UD-Northwestern Stats
Follow all UD Athletics action on Twitter at: @UDubuqueSports