Augie Men Cruise By Mustangs

Vikings Win 99-75 Over SMSU

No. 2 Augustana University men’s basketball won its 11th straight game with a 99-75 win over Southwest Minnesota State University (8-5, 4-4 NSIC) to improve to 11-1 on the season, including 8-0 in NSIC play.

The Vikings were led by Casey Schilling who put up 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. John Warren had one of the best games of his young career in the Blue and Gold scoring a season-high 14 points, knocking down 4 of 6 3-pointers and finishing the night 5 of 8 from the field.

Jordan Spencer just missed his second career double-double finishing with 10 points and nine assists. Spencer has dished out five or more assists in all 12 games this season and now 27 straight games dating back to Jan. 24 of last season.

Daniel Jansen pitched in with 18 points and eight rebounds despite playing just 22 minutes. Steven Schaefer and Marcus Asmus both added seven points off the bench for the Vikings. Augustana forced SMSU into 18 turnovers on the night and scored 27 points off turnovers and 22 points on the fastbreak.

The Vikings shot 47 percent (33 of 70) from the field and hit 13 3-pointers, marking the 10th game of the year with 10 or more 3-pointers.

SMSU finished the game shooting 48 percent from the field, including 5 of 17 from 3-point range. Carter Kirk led the Mustangs with 14 points and eight rebounds.

After Augustana jumped out to a 13-6 lead, the two teams played even over the next 2:27 as the Mustangs were able to get within three at 19-16 with 11:54 remaining in the first half.

The Vikings then went on a tear to break things open in the first half, out-scoring SMSU 15-0 over the next 5:21 to extend their lead to 18 at 34-16. Augustana caught fire from behind the arc during the run, hitting four 3-pointers during the stretch.

SMSU’s Taylor Schafer stopped the run with a 3-pointer but Augustana answered with a 5-0 run, scoring on five straight free throws starting with one after a technical foul on the SMSU bench. Schilling stretched the lead to 20 at 39-19 with a pair of free throws and with 4:34 remaining in the half before Spencer found Warren for an alley-oop in transition that put the Vikings in front 44-21.

The Vikings closed-out the first half shooting 43 percent from the field but were lights out from behind the arc connecting on 9 of 21 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes.

Augustana forced SMSU into 13 first-half turnovers and turned that into 18 points. Warren led Augustana in the first half with 14 points on 5 of 6 shooting, including 4 of 4 from 3-point range. Schilling had 12 points and five rebounds at the break and Spencer pitched in with nine points and seven assists in the first half.

The second half started much like the first as the Vikings out-scored the Mustangs 13-10 through the first three minutes of the half to extend its lead to 22 at 62-40. The two teams continued to trade points early in the second half until the Vikings went on a 16-6 run during a nearly five minute stretch to go in front by 30 with just under nine minutes to play.

All 14 players saw the court in the game and 11 players got in on the scoring mix for the Vikings.

Augustana has now won 11 straight games and registered its eighth game scoring 90-plus points this season.

The Vikings will hit the road for a pair of NSIC contests next Friday and Saturday. Augustana will take on Concordia-St. Paul at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 8, before taking on No. 25 Minnesota State at 6 p.m. on Saturday.