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Clutch Shooting Lifts Vikings Over Winona State

Shaunteva Ashley, Augustana Vikings
Augustana College

WINONA, MN — A big three-point basket from Emily Schulte and clutch free throws by Shaunteva Ashley secured the victory for sixth-ranked Augustana over Winona State, 56-47.  The Vikings stay perfect at 8-0, 4-0 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play while the Warriors fall to 8-3, 2-2 in NSIC action.

Schulte’s three-pointer with 2:05 left in the game gave the Vikings a five-point lead, 50-45, and a big enough cushion for the Vikings’ free-throw shooting to guide them to victory.  Ashley went 4-4 from the charity stripe and Schulte hit a pair of free throws to ice the win for Augustana.

The Vikings’ 8-0 record is the best start for the program since the Vikings opened the 1996-97 season a perfect 11-0.

Ashley led the Vikings with 16 points, tied for a game-high with WSU’s Becca Friestleben who hit five three-point buckets in the second half.

The Vikings ripped down a season-high 54 rebounds and held the Warriors to just 23.1 percent shooting from the field, a low for a Viking opponent this season.  The Vikings also shot a season-low themselves at 32.8 to go along with only 20 made field goals and seven assists, also season lows.

Ashley’s hot shooting kept the Vikings in the game early with six of Augustana’s eight points to open the game.  The Vikings held a four point lead after Lydia Nelson hit a layup to go up 15-11.

The Warriors fought back tying it after a pair of free throws at 15-15 then Riley Nordgaard and Ashley teamed up to put the Vikings up five, 21-16.  The half came to a close with the officials calling both teams back to the court after conferring and ruling a shooting foul was called before the buzzer.  WSU’s Kelsey Andrist hit two free throws afer 0.3 seconds were put back on the clock and the halftime score moved to 21-18 in favor of the Vikings.

Augustana was held 21.5 points below their average in the first half and shot just 27.7 percent from the field.  The Vikings’ defense did show up in the first half, holding the Warriors to 16.7 percent shooting and six turnovers.

To open the second half, the Vikings surrendered a WSU jumper then scored five straight led by Ashley and Nelson’s layups.  The Vikings then pushed their lead to 11 points when Alex Feeney drilled a couple of consecutive three-pointers putting Augustana up 36-25.

Feeney then laid another shot in and Schulte hit a pair of free throws to give the Vikings their biggest lead, 40-25.

Friestleben then found her touch from beyond the arc and hit three three-point buckets to goa long with another WSU three in just less than three minutes. The Vikings lead was cut to six, 37-43.

Katie Wolff teamed up with Friestleben to hit a three-pointer apiece and cut the Augustana lead to four. Wolff’s jumper cut the lead to two at 45-47 before Schulte’s three put the Warriors away for good.

Four Vikings grabbed at least seven rebounds with Ashley one away from a double-double at nine rebounds.  Augustana held WSU without a three-point field goal in the first half (0-9), but gave up seven in the second stanza.

Augustana heads to Upper Iowa to close out this road trip for a 4 p.m. game vs. the Peacocks on Saturday Dec. 15.  The Vikings then have a 19-day hiatus before hosting Minnesota State on Jan. 4, 2013.

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Courtesy:  Augustana College

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