MOORHEAD-Minnesota State Moorhead started the day thinking it was a virtual lock to make the NCAA Division II men's basketball tournament.

Now the Dragons have doubt.

Concordia-St. Paul erupted for 58 points in the second half to rally for an 86-78 upset victory against the No. 19-ranked Dragons on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the first round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

"That was a hard lesson," Dragons head coach Chad Walthall said. "We completely relaxed and were a team I hadn't really seen this year."

The Dragons (24-5) had their seven-game winning streak snapped. MSUM was ranked No. 4 in this week's Central Region rankings. The top eight teams in the region make the national tournament.

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"I don't know if we'll be a four seed and drop out," Walthall said. "That's quite a ways to drop out. We still have a good seed. Hopefully, we'll hang in there."

The Dragons were the No. 1 seed from the North Division and the overall NSIC champion in the regular season by two games. Now, MSUM will have to wait until the D-II selection show on March 5 to see if it makes the national tournament.

"Hopefully, we've done enough and we'll sneak in," said Dragons senior Aaron Lien, who had 15 points against the Golden Bears. "It's hard to say at this point."

The Dragons led by as many as 18 points in the first half and took a 38-28 lead into halftime. However, Concordia-St. Paul shot 53 percent (17 of 32) from the floor in the second half to rally. The Golden Bears took a 62-61 after sophomore guard Bryndan Matthews scored on transition layup with 7 minutes, 35 seconds to play in the second half. That gave Concordia-St. Paul its first lead of the game.

The Golden Bears took a 67-65 lead after freshman forward Max Keefe sank a 3-pointer with 5:28 remaining. They never trailed from that point.

"We never regained any kind of energy and momentum," Walthall said. "I've never seen my team play like that this year."

Senior guard Diallo Powell led the Golden Bears with a game-high 23 points. Concordia-St. Paul sank nine free throws in the final 40 seconds to seal the upset victory. The Golden Bears had a 2-20 record in the league during the regular season, while MSUM posted a 19-3 mark.

The Dragons scored 18 of the game's first 22 points Wednesday, building a 33-15 lead after freshman guard Johnny Beeninga scored on a drive to the basket with 4:42 to play in the first half. The Golden Bears, however, clawed within 10 points of the lead by halftime and carried that momentum into the second half.

"We got comfortable and then started to relax and we never could get it back," Walthall said.

"We let our foot off the gas," Lien added. "We relaxed and thought things would be easy."

CSP (6-24): Brooks 2-3 0-0 4, Keefe 2-4 0-0 5, Brown 2-7 6-10 10, Siganos 2-9 0-0 5, Matthews 7-9 0-2 16, McRoy 7-13 5-9 19, Powell 5-12 10-10 23, Newsome 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 29-61 21-31 86.

MSUM (24-5): Ayob 5-12 8-11 20, Nelson 1-1 0-0 2, Kretchman 3-11 6-6 14, Doss 0-3 1-2 1, Lien 5-10 4-6 15, Beeninga 3-7 0-0 7, Anderson 3-4 1-2 7, Bussman 0-2 1-2 1, Hines 0-2 0-0 0, Park 5-6 1-2 11. Totals 25-58 22-31 78.

Half: MSUM 38, CSP 28. 3-point goals: CSP 7-18 (Keefe 1-1, Siganos 1-6, Matthews 2-3, McRoy 0-1, Powell 3-7), MSUM 6-25 (Ayob 2-5, Kretchman 2-8, Doss 0-3, Lien 1-4, Beeninga 1-3, Bussman 0-1, Hines 0-1). Total fouls: CSP 24, MSUM 24. Fouled out: Siganos, Anderson. Rebounds: CSP 35 (Brown 7, Matthews 7), MSUM 36 (Ayob 13). Assists: CSP 12 (Siganos 3), MSUM 11 (Kretchman 6). Steals: CSP 4 (Matthews 3), MSUM 5 (Ayob 2). Turnovers: CSP 7 (Matthews 2), MSUM 5 (five players with 1). A-1,206.