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Augie Women Roll Into Semis of NSIC

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Six double-figure scoring efforts helped No. 22 Augustana to an 89-77 victory over MSU Moorhead Wednesday night in the opening round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health Women's Basketball Tournament.

Augustana improves to 22-5, while MSUM drops to 14-13. Emily Schulte tied her career-high with 19 points and Lydia Nelson scored another 18 points. Alex Feeney had 14 points for the Vikings and Shaunteva Ashley added 12 points with nine rebounds. Molly Hayes recorded her first double-double of the season and the fifth of her career with 11 points and a season-high 10 assists. She also had a game-high three steals. Andrea Whitney had 10 points off the bench to finish off Vikings in double-figures. Angie Jetvig led MSUM with 15 points and Taylor Shepard had a game-high 10 rebounds.

With Augustana trailing 6-4, Schulte hit a jumper to spark a 9-0 run that gave the Vikings a 13-6 lead at 16:20.  The Vikings held on to the advantage throughout the half, stretching their lead to as much as 17 points twice—both with less than 10 minutes until the break.

The Vikings received their first double-digit lead at 12:06 after Feeney made a layup to bring the score to 22-12. Ashley hit a pair of free throws and followed them up with a basket from behind the arc to put Augustana up 35-17 at 7:05. Her baskets ended a scoring drought for both teams that lasted more than two and a half minutes.

MSUM scored 16 points in the final five minutes of the first half to cut the 17-point 41-24 lead Augustana held at 5:09. The Vikings connected at a 54.1 percent (20-37) clip from the floor in the opening 20 minutes and held a 50-40 lead at intermission. The Dragons made 16 of 34 from the field to shoot 47.1 percent.

Two MSUM free throws to open the second half quickly cut the Dragons' deficit to single digits. MSUM never got within more than eight points of Augustana in the half though. Hayes used a 3-point bucket to put a halt to a four-point Dragon run. The bucket allowed Augustana to take a 66-55 lead at 11:45.
Back and forth action continued until Whitney triggered a 5-0 run with a layup that gave Augustana a 79-64 lead with 6:37 remaining. At 4:35 Nelson recorded a layup to move Augustana to 83-69 and the Vikings used six free throws to hold off the Dragons in the remaining time.

MSUM had 17 turnovers compared to the Vikings' eight. Augustana converted MSUM's turnovers into 19 points. The Vikings travel to Rochester, Minn., Saturday to continue conference tournament action in the Taylor Arena against U-Mary at 5 p.m.
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