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Warriors Hand Vikings First Loss of Season



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WINONA, Minn. – Winona State (8-3, 2-2 NSIC) hit 12 3-pointers in a 70-56 win over Augustana College (7-1, 3-1 NSIC) in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action on Friday night in Winona. The Vikings, who went on the road for the first time this season, shot a season-low 35 percent from the field and were out-rebounded for the first time in eight games.

Winona State was 26 of 59 (44 percent) from the field but knocked down 12 shots from 3-point range in the win. Clayton Vette, who the Vikings held to just four points in the first half, led the Warriors with 16 points. He was one of three Warriors in double-digits as Zander Culver finished with 14 and Taylor Cameron added 13. Vette recorded a double-double grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds.

Culver finished the night 4 of 6 from 3-point range while Cameron knocked down 3 of 4 from behind the arc for Winona State.

Cameron McCaffrey led the Vikings with a game-high 20 points on 6 of 15 shooting. The senior also knocked down 7 of 7 shots from the free throw line. McCaffrey has scored 20 or more points in a game five times this season and 27 times in his career.

Casey Schilling had a strong second half scoring all 11 of his points in the final frame. The freshman finished 4 of 8 shooting, knocking down a 3-pointer while grabbing five boards.

The Vikings lost the battle on the boards for the first time this season as the Warriors grabbed 43 rebounds compared to 33 for Augustana. Winona State grabbed 10 offensive boards, led by Vette who corralled seven offensive rebounds.

Augustana and Winona State got off to a slow start but the Warriors were able to take an 8-2 advantage just under seven minutes into the first half. During the first seven minutes of play, there was a four minute stretch where neither team scored a basket.

The Vikings cut Winona State's lead to two at 10-8 at the 10:21 mark of the half on a bucket by Olson but Winona State answered when Culver hit a 3-pointer to push WSU's lead to 13-8.

Three minutes later Augustana trimmed Winona State's lead to three at 18-15 after McCaffrey converted a 3-point play driving to the basket with the bucket and the foul to get to the line. The senior hit his free throw to keep the Vikings in the hunt.

Winona State closed out the half hitting four 3-pointers on its next eight possessions of the half to take a nine point 34-25 lead into the break.

Culver and Cameron each hit two 3-pointers in the first half, while Cameron led the Warriors with eight points. Winona State shot just 39 percent from the field in the half, but were lights out from 3-point range connecting on 8 of 15 (53 percent) from behind the arc.

Augustana was 11 of 30 from the field (36 percent), including just 2 of 8 from 3-point range. McCaffrey led Augustana with 12 points in the half on 5 of 10 shooting, including 1 of 5 from 3-point range. Winona State did not reach the foul line at all in the first half while the Vikings were 1 of 3 from the charity stripe.

Winona State came out of the locker room and quickly extended its lead to 14 points at 41-27 on a bucket by Vette. Augustana was able to cut Winona State's lead to nine (44-35) after an 8-3 run but Culver gave the Warriors the momentum right back knocking down a 3-pointer with 15:01 left in the game to push WSU's lead to 47-35.

The two teams continued to trade baskets over the next 10 minutes of the half before the Vikings went on an 8-0 run highlighted by a 3-pointer by Schilling to cut Winona State's lead to four at 59-55 with just under four minutes to play.

After a bucket by Xavier Humphrey, Culver delivered another dagger drilling a 3-pointer with 2:50 to play to push Winona State's lead back up to nine at 64-55. From there the Warriors were able to push its lead back up to 15 and held on for the 70-56 win.

Augustana will play its final game of the 2012 calendar year tomorrow night traveling to Fayette, Iowa to take on Upper Iowa at 6 p.m. After a win over Wayne State tonight, Upper Iowa is 6-2, and 4-0 in conference play.
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