Augie Men Snap Home Skid Against Northern

Vikings Pull Away For 80-66 Victory

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.  —  The Augustana University men’s basketball shot 61.5 percent in the second half in an 80-66 win over Northern State University in front of 3,576 fans at the Sioux Falls Arena on Saturday night. The Vikings (13-5, 8-4 NSIC) snapped a three-game home losing skid and dropped Northern State’s record to 12-6, 8-4 NSIC.

Tonight’s basketball doubleheader was a part of the NCAA Division II Basketball Showcase and was streamed on ESPN3/WatchESPN.

Mike Busack led the Vikings with 23 points and nine rebounds picking up his third 20-point performance of the season. Jordan Spencer recorded 14 points and nine assists and Adam Beyer added 15 points and four rebounds.

Augustana finished the game shooting 51.6 percent (32 of 62) from the field after shooting a blistering 61.5 percent in the second half. After starting 1 of 4 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes, the Vikings nailed 4 of 7 in the second half and finished the night shooting 45.5 percent from behind the arc.

DJ Pollard led Northern State with 18 points on 5 of 12 shooting. The Wolves shot 34.4 percent from the field and were 7 of 25 from 3-point range.

Augustana forced 19 turnovers and scored 23 points off of them. The Vikings kept attacking the Wolves all night and finished with 40 points in the paint.

Northern State started the night with a 5-0 lead but the Vikings shook off some early rust and out-scored the Wolves 8-2 over the next 3:47 to take their first lead of the night at 8-7.

Both teams were tough on the defensive end in the first half and played to a 14-all tie at the midway point of the period. The Wolves took a 19-16 lead after a 3-pointer by Bo Fries  but four minutes later, an Adam Beyer 3-pointer tied the game at 23 with just under five minutes to play in the half.

Augustana took a four-point lead with 2.4 seconds remaining in the half when Spencer pulled up for a jumper to give the Vikings a 33-29 lead. The Vikings ended up with two-point lead at the half after Spencer was called for a foul on NSU’s half court heave and the Wolves’ DJ Pollard hit 2 of 3 from the line to make the score 33-31 at the half.

The Vikings finished the half shooting 44.4 percent (16 of 36) from the field, including 1 of 4 from 3-point range. Busack led Augustana with eight first-half points while Spencer finished the first frame with six points and five assists.

Northern State got eight points from Mack Arvidson and DJ Pollard in the first half. The Wolves shot 35.7 percent (10 of 28) from the field, hitting 5 of 15 from 3-point range.

Augustana out-scored Northern State 24-6 in the paint in the first half and the Vikings were able to turn 11 NSU turnovers into 14 points.

The Vikings came out strong to start the second half building a nine-point lead at 40-31 after a 7-0 run in the first 2:19 forcing Northern State to take a timeout. Augustana extended its run to 11-2 and built its first double-digit lead of the night at 44-33 after Busack shook the defender and hit the stepback jumper. After an NSU basket on the next possession, Busack answered with a trailing 3-pointer and the Vikings extended their lead to 12 at 47-35 with 15:16 remaining in the game.

Northern State scored eight straight to get within four at 47-43 but the Vikings kept attacking the rim and getting to the line to keep their lead. With 10:05 to play, Justin Decker hit a 3-pointer for the Wolves to make the score 53-49 but the Vikings scored 10 of the game’s next 13 points over the next two minutes to build an 11-point lead of 63-52.

Augustana stretched its lead up to 13 and the Vikings kept the Wolves at bay at the free throw line, hitting 5 of 6 free throws after NSU technical fouls.

Augustana will hit the road for two straight weeks starting Jan. 20-21 at Upper Iowa and Winona State.

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