NSIC TOURNAMENT: Augustana Crushes Northern State
Two-Time Defending Champs Roll Into Semifinals With 88-64 Win
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Jordan Spencer scored a game-high 23 points to lead a group of four players in double-figures in an 88-64 win over Northern State (22-8) in the quarterfinals of the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament on Sunday night. Augustana, the No. 3 seed out of the South Division, improves to 23-7 on the season and will now play South Division No. 1 seed Southwest Minnesota State in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Monday night.
Augustana shot 49 percent from the field in the game after firing at 54 percent in the first half. Spencer recorded his ninth 20-plus point performance of the season (14th career) to lead the Vikings in scoring. Spencer also dished out seven assists and grabbed six rebounds.
John Warren put up 17 points for the Vikings to go along with four rebounds. Spencer was 6 of 11 from the field, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range. Mike Busack pitched in with 15 points and seven rebounds while Adam Beyer added 14 points and six rebounds.
Zach Huisken put up seven points and a career-high 11 rebounds while also picking up two blocks and two assists.
The Vikings dominated the glass against the Wolves, out-rebounding Northern State 50-29. The Vikings also knocked down 10 of 20 3-pointers, to improve to 14-1 on the year when hitting 10 or more from behind the arc in a game.
Northern State shot 37.5 percent from the field, hitting 24 of 64 shots, including just 8 of 27 from behind the arc. Logan Doyle led the Wolves with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Augustana raced out to a 12-2 lead just over four minutes into the game as the Vikings started out 5 of 6 from the field. Buack and Beyer combined for 10 of Augustana’s first 12 points.
The Vikings cooled off a bit from the field but were able to maintain an eight-point lead at the midway point of the first half. Augustana led 16-5 but went 1 for its next 6 from the field and the Wolves were able to pull within six at 19-13 with 9:50 remaining in the half.
Marcus Asmus put up Lucas Walford put together some strong minutes off the bench for the Vikings helping Augustana push its lead back up to double-digits. Asmus scored eight points in the final six minutes of the half.
Augustana out-scored Northern State 14-8 in the final three minutes of the first to take a 17-point lead into the locker room at the half. The Vikings scored five straight in the final 1:28, including a thunderous two-handed slam by John Warren that brought the Viking faithful to their feet.
Augustana shot 54 percent (19 of 35) from the field, knocking down 5 of 11 3-pointers. The Vikings put in the effort on the defensive end and were rewarded with stops and forced turnovers. Augustana scored 10 points off of six NSU turnovers in the first half.
The Vikings used a balanced scoring attack in the first 20 minutes to build the double-digit halftime lead. Beyer led the Vikings with 12 points to go along with five rebounds. Spencer added 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting.
Northern State was led by Logan Doyle’s 11 first-half points. The Wolves finished the half shooting 33 percent (11 of 33) from the field, including just 3 of 12 from 3-point range. The two teams combined for just 14 fouls and five free throw attempts in the half.
Warren started out the second half hot for the Vikings, hitting a pair of 3-pointers to push Augustana’s lead to 21 at 50-29. Northern State used a 9-2 run to cut Augustana’s lead to 14 at 54-40 but the Vikings hit three from behind the arc, including two from Busack, pushing the lead back up to 21 at 63-42.
The Vikings pushed their lead all the way up to 27 cruising into the semifinals with the win. Augustana is now 12-6 all-time in the NSIC Tournament, including 8-1 in NSIC Tournament games played at the Sanford Pentagon.
Augustana will make its third straight appearance in the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinal taking on Southwest Minnesota State Monday at 8 p.m. at the Sanford Pentagon.