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Season-Low Shooting Dooms Vikings

Cameron McCaffrey, Augustana Vikings
Augustana Vikings

SIOUX FALLS, SD — Augustana shot a season-low 23 percent from the field and scored just 19 points in the second half dropping a physical game to No. 21 Minnesota State University, Mankato (9-1, 5-1 NSIC) on Friday night in Sioux Falls. The Vikings (8-2, 4-2 NSIC) got off to a slow start scoring just one point, a free throw, in the first nine minutes of the second half.

This is the first home loss of the season for Augustana as MSU was able to snap the Vikings’ two-game winning streak over the Mavericks.

Gage Wooten led all players with 19 points on the night on 7 of 9 shooting. He was also 5 of 5 from the free throw line. Jimmy Whitehead added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Mavericks.

For the Vikings, Cameron McCaffrey spent the majority of the first half on the bench after committing two early fouls. The senior finished with 15 points and is now four points shy of moving up to ninth on the all-time scoring list at Augustana.

Alex Richter grabbed a career-high eight rebounds for Augustana as the Vikings matched its season-high with 48 rebounds, including 16 offensive boards.

Neither team shot well from 3-point range as the Mavericks were 0 of 8 for the game while Augustana was just 4 of 26 (15 percent) from behind the arc.

Augustana went on a 12-2 run in the first four minutes of the game to grab an early lead. MSU turned the ball over four times in that span while the Vikings cashed in six points off of the Maverick turnovers.

Huisken scored four straight points during the run for the Vikings hitting two free throws and going over the top of Marei for a basket.

MSU scored its first basket in over four minutes to make the score 12-4 but McCaffrey answered on the next possession to put the Vikings in front 14-4. Following two minutes of scoreless basketball, MSU scored two straight baskets after an Augustana turnover to make the score 14-8 with 12:22 left in the half.

Minnesota State cut Augustana’s lead to six at 18-12 after a jumper by Wooten but Joe Burt answered with a 3-pointer to put the Vikings up 21-12 with 8:12 remaining in the half.

The two teams played even for the remaining of the half with each team scoring 11 points over the final 7:08.

MSU scored on back-to-back possessions to cut Augustana’s lead to six at 25-19 with 4:25 to go. Schilling pushed the Vikings’ lead back to eight at 27-19 hitting two free throws with 3:09 to play.

Augustana would carry a six-point 29-23 lead into halftime. The Vikings shot 37 percent from the field in the first half while MSU shot 34 percent. Neither team shot well from outside as the Vikings were just 1 of 6 from 3-point range while MSU was 0 for 5.

Free throws helped the Vikings grab a first half lead as Augustana was 6 of 6 from the charity stripe. On the other side, Minnesota State was just 1 of 4 from the free throw line. Augustana held a 23-17 rebounding advantage heading into the break.

Burt led the Vikings in the first half with seven points while McCaffrey, Richter, Schilling, Huisken and Jansen all had four. Gage Wooten led MSU with six first half points.

MSU went on a 10-1 run over the first five and a half minutes of the second half to take its first lead of the game. Jimmy Whitehead put the Mavericks in front for the first time of the game with a fastbreak bucket to make the score 31-30 and on the very next possession he scored on another fastbreak to put MSU in front 33-30 with 14:34 to play in the game.

The Vikings went just over seven minutes without a basket allowing the Mavericks to but an eight-point 38-30 lead with 11 minutes left in the game before McCaffrey drilled a 3-pointer to end the drought. McCaffrey’s basket made the score 38-33 and Schilling scored on the next possession to cut the lead to three at 38-35.

Augustana missed field goals on its next two possessions and MSU was able to capitalize and push its lead back to seven (42-35) heading into the media timeout with 8:47 to play in the game.

From there MSU was able to build a 14-point (51-37) lead over the next six minutes of play to put the Vikings away.

MSU dominated the Vikings down low in the second half grabbing 30 rebounds and scoring 16 points in the paint. Augustana was just 3 of 20 from the field in the second half, including 3 of 20 from 3-point range.

Augustana returns to action tomorrow night hosting Concordia-St. Paul at 6 p.m.

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Courtesy: Augustana College

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