Augie Sweeps NSIC Playoff games

Viking men and women advance to NSIC quarterfinals with wins Wednesday

Men’s Recap

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – No. 3 seed Augustana University men’s basketball got a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds from senior Zach Huisken in a 74-63 win in the first round of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament on Wednesday night at the Sanford Pentagon.

The Vikings improve to 22-7 on the season while Bemidji State ends its season at 10-18. Augustana is now 11-6 all-time in the NSIC Tournament.

Augustana finished the game shooting 35.3 percent (24 of 68), including 30 percent from 3-point range. The Vikings were 2 of 11 from behind the arc in the first half before going 4 of 9 in the second.

The Vikings had a great night at the free throw line finishing 20 of 24 (83.3 percent). Huisken was 9 of 11 from the stripe and 5 of 14 from the field. Mike Busack added 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals.

Jordan Spencer picked up his 14th career game with 10-plus assists. Adam Beyer finished with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Bemidji State was led by Ben Best who scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds. BSU shot 46.6 percent (27 of 58) from the field and hit 7 of 23 from 3-point range.

Augustana and Bemidji State combined to shoot 4 of 16 from the field in the first five minutes of the contest but the Vikings grabbed an early 6-2 lead. The Vikings extended their lead to 17-9 nearing the midway point of the half when Busack hit Augustana’s first 3-pointer of the night with 10:43 left in the first.

BSU got within three at 12-9, but with Spencer on the bench with two early fouls, Austin Saugstad ran the point and got the Vikings five straight points after hitting a jumper on the left wing and finding Busack for the three that put Augustana up eight.

Steven Schaefer scored five straight points for the Vikings and Marcus Asmus put Augustana up by 10 at 26-16 with 7:27 remaining in the half. The two teams played well over five minutes without a stoppage in play with the under-10 minute media timeout occurring with 6:19 left in the half.

The Beavers went on a 10-2 run during a nearly four-minute stretch towards the end of the half to cut Augustana’s lead to one at 30-29. BSU got back-to-back 3-pointers from Jacob McNallan at the start of the run. The Vikings attacked the rim late in the half but were unable to get the shots to fall but Augustana hit 6 of 7 free throws in the final 5:36 to go into the locker room at halftime with a 34-29 lead.

Augustana finished the half shooting 30.6 percent (11 of 36) from the field, including 2 of 11 from 3-point range. The Vikings were led by Huisken’s 11 first-half points. Huisken was 3 of 8 from the field but hit 5 of 6 from the free throw line to help the team finish 10 of 12 from the stripe.

Bemidji State shot 43 percent (12 of 28) from the field, including 3 of 13 from 3-point range. McNallan led BSU with eight points in the first frame.

Augustana opened the second half on a 6-2 run to build to push its lead up to nine after Huisken converted a 3-point-play putting the Vikings in front 40-31. Jai’Vionne Green started to heat up for the Beavers as he scored five straight to start a 9-2 run for BSU to make the score 42-40 with 13:41 to play.

The Vikings pushed their lead back up to six three times over the next three minutes but Bemidji State kept on answering back getting back within two at 52-50 just past the midway point of the half. Augustana answered by hitting five of its next eight shots to build a 10-point lead of 65-55 with just over five minutes to play.

Augustana extended its run to 13-2 gaining a 17-point lead of 74-57 with 49 seconds remaining in the game after a 3-pointer by Beyer.

The Vikings were ranked No. 6 in the latest NCAA Central Region rankings. Augustana advances to the quarterfinals of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament and will pay North Division No. 2 seed Northern State at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Sanford Pentagon.

Women’s Recap

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Augustana women’s basketball team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NSIC Tournament after their 70-61 win over Minot State. The Vikings were led by junior guard Logan O’Farrell who nearly recorded a triple-double.

Wednesday night’s contest started out slow for each team. The game’s first points game with 7:52 left in the first quarter when Shelby Selland hit a triple. After Minot State tied the game at three, the Vikings went on 4-0 run to take a 7-3 lead at the midway point of the quarter. Following a 7-5 score, Augustana went on a 6-2 run to take a 6-point lead at 13-7. The two teams closed the quarter trading buckets and the Vikings took an 18-13 lead into the second quarter.

Minot State opened the second with a triple to cut the Vikings lead to two. For the next five minutes, each team matched the other point-for-point. The Vikings led by four at 27-23 before picking it up on the offensive end. Over the final 2:30 of the half, Augustana went on a 9-2 run, including a 7-0 to end the half, to take a 36-27 lead into the break.

After the Beavers scored the first points of the third quarter, the Vikings scored six straight to take a 15-point lead. Over the final five minutes of the quarter, the Vikings outscored the Beavers 10-7 to take a 52-36 lead into the final frame.

Augustana broke the game open at the start of the fourth quarter, going on an 11-0 run to take a 27-point lead at 63-36 but then Minot State control the final 4:50 of the game. Minot State scored 10 of the next 12 points to cut Augustana’s lead to 19. Following a 4-0 Viking run, MSU scored 15 of the final 16 points but Augustana was able to hold on for a 70-61 opening round victory.

Viking of the Game

Logan O’Farrell had fantastic game for the Vikings as she earned her fifth double-double of the season after scoring 11-points and grabbing 10 rebounds. O’Farrell was a force on the defensive end with a career-high six blocked shots. She fell one blocked shot shy of tying the NSIC Tournament record. O’Farrell also had seven assists and four steals on the night.

Viking Notables

  • Augustana improved to 8-1 all-time against Minot State
  • This was Augustana’s fifth straight win in the series
  • Logan set a career-high with six blocked shots
  • Three Vikings reached double-digit points: Shelby Selland (16), Sydney Rome (15), O’Farrell (11)
  • O’Farrell led the Vikings in assists and rebounds
  • Paige Peterson added six boards and seven points
  • Naomi Rust had eight points and four rebounds off the bench
  • Augustana shot 42 percent from the field and 22 percent from behind the arc

 

Up Next

No. 1 Augustana will play No. 5 Winona State in the NSIC Quarterfinals on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Vikings and Warriors will play at the Sanford Pentagon.

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