Spencer, Vikes Win OT Thriller

Defending D-II champs win on banner night

Augustana’s Steven Schaefer converted a 3-point-play with 54 seconds remaining to tie the game at 86 and sent it to overtime. The Vikings then out-scored Wayne State 8-1 in overtime to pick up a 94-87 win in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opener on Monday night at the Sioux Falls Arena.
Augustana improves to 4-1 on the season with the win and move to 1-0 in NSIC play. Wayne State is now 1-2 on the season (0-1 NSIC).
Tonight’s game was Augustana’s first overtime game since March 2, 2015 in the NSIC Tournament against Wayne State. Augustana improved to 27-19 all-time in overtime games with tonight’s win.
Wayne State was lights out from the field all night long. The Wildcats shot 65.4 percent from the field in the first half and finished the game shooting 51 percent.
Augustana shot 49 percent from the field in the game after a 55 percent output in the first half. The Vikings connected on just 1 of 4 field goals in the overtime session but were 6 of 9 from the free throw line. Augustana finished the game 30 of 46 from the stripe and the two teams combined for 63 fouls.
Jordan Spencer led the Vikings in scoring with 23 points to go along with nine assists and four rebounds. Spencer has scored 20-plus points in back-to-back games and now seven times in his career. He has now dished out five or more assists in 57 career games in a Viking uniform.
Augustana had four players in double-figures. Adam Beyer scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Mike Buscak added 14 points and six boards. Steven Schaefer scored 10 points and grabbed a career-high five rebounds. Schaefer was 3 of 5 from the field, including 2 of 2 from 3-point range.
Jordan Cornelius led Wayne State with 21 points on 8 of 14 shooting. Kendall Jacks added 15 points and six rebounds for the Wildcats.
Wayne State jumped out to a five-point lead early in the contest but the Vikings settled down in the offensive end and knocked down 4 of 6 from behind the arc in the first five minutes of the game to take a 16-13 lead into the game’s first media timeout.
The Vikings were able to build an 11-point lead near the midway point of the first half. During the eight-minute stretch, Augustana knocked down 11 of 13 shots from the field, including five straight 3-pointers. Seven different players scored for the Vikings during the run and Augustana held a 39-19 lead with 9:54 remaining in the half.
Wayne State didn’t allow Augustana to pull away as Jordan Cornelius answered a John Warren 3-pointer with one of his own sparking the Wildcats’ 20-10 run over the next seven minutes that saw Augustana’s lead shrink to one at 40-39. Cornelius scored seven points during the stretch for WSC.
Augustana attacked the rim in the final six minutes of the first half and the Vikings knocked down seven free throws over the last 6:14. Augustana carried a 48-44 lead into the half after shooting 55 percent from the field.
Both teams shot well in the first half. The Vikings also knocked down 8 of 14 3-pointers while Wayne State finished the half shooting 65 percent (17 of 26) from the field. WSC was 5 of 11 from 3-point range and was led by Jordan Cornelius’ 13 first-half points.
Spencer led the Vikings in the first half with 11 points and four assists. Augustana had 10 players score in the first half and Mike Busack and Steven Schaefer each pitched in with seven points in the first frame.
Wayne State opened the second half on an 8-0 run taking a 52-48 lead over the Vikings. The Wildcats stretched their run to 15-3 over the first five and a half minutes of the second half building an eight-point lead at 59-51 with 14:25 to play.
Marcus Asmus scored four straight points for the Vikings helping Augustana get back within two. Spencer got a bucket and foul but missed the free throw but Asmus cleaned up the rebound and got the putback. On Augustana’s next possession, Asmus grabbed another offensive board and was fouled and he converted a pair of free throws to get the Vikings within two at 59-57.
Spencer tied the game at 59 with a jumper but the Wildcats were able to regain the lead at 64-59 with a quick 5-0 run. After John Warren made it a four-point game at 64-60 hitting the first of two free throws, Augustana forced Wayne State into two straight turnovers and Walford tied the game at 64 with a jumper from the left block with 10:39 remaining in the game.
Wayne State pushed its lead back up to nine with 5:27 remaining in the game after a 3-pointer by Matt Thomas. Augustana sped up its tempo and chipped away at WSC’s lead eventually tying it at 86 with 54 seconds to play.
The Vikings hit five free throws in the final two minutes, including a 3-point-play from Schaefer that tied the game. Spencer pulled up for what could have been a game-tying three but he found a wide open Schaefer under the basket who went up and got the bucket and the foul. Schaefer knocked down the free throw to tie the game with just under a minute to play.
The Vikings got a stop on the defensive end and called a timeout with the ball and 29.4 seconds to play. Spencer missed a pull-up jumper and the Vikings looked to have come up with a steal on WSC’s possession but the ball last touched a Viking on the way out with 0.1 seconds left. The Wildcats did not get a shot attempt off sending the game to overtime.
Augustana out-scored Wayne State 8-1 in the overtime session. The Vikings scored six of their eight points in the extra session from the free throw line.
Augustana returns to action on Friday, Nov. 25 hosting Peru State at the Elmen Center. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.