SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – An early second-half search gave 12th-ranked Augustana separation and Alex Feeney's third straight double-double closed out University of Mary for the Vikings' 71-59 win. Augustana won its fourth straight game and is now 13-2 on the season, 9-2 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Marauders fall to 11-6 overall, 6-5 in the NSIC.
Augustana opened the second half on an 11-2 run and the Marauders never came closer than 11 points. Alex Feeney poured in 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, both game highs.
The running game worked for the Vikings as they outscored U-Mary 17-6 on the break and held a 32-22 edge in points in the paint. The Vikings also racked up 23 assists, their second highest total in conference play. Shaunteva Ashley improved on her NSIC-best assist-to-turnover ratio with an eight assist, one turnover performance.
Both teams started the game with a bang, drilling three-point field goals on the opening two possessions and neither team could build a lead too daunting for their opponent. A brief seven point burst by the Marauders, led by Shaunna Knife's five points and two Augustana turnovers.
Feeney, Riley Nordgaard and Shaunteva Ashley all connected on jump shots and the Viking defense held strong giving Augustana a lead that would be answered by another Marauder three-pointer. The two teams traded baskets for several minutes until Faith Tinklenberg and Feeney gave Augustana a 29-23 lead.
A missed defensive assignment left Kelsey Peltier wide open and she hit U-Mary's sixth three of the game to tie the game at 31-31 and the Vikings took a timeout. Feeney scored nine points in the first half and her five free throws weathered the storm as the Marauders staged a comeback.
Cami Koehn's three from the corner sparked a 10-2 run to end the half for the Vikings. Koehn hit a second triple to cap the run off and scored seven of Augustana's final 10 points as they took a 41-33 lead into the intermission.
Feeney nearly recorded a double-double in the first half, alone; the senior forward gathered six rebounds to pair with her nine points. Tinklenberg chipped in with eight in the first 20 minutes.
To open the second half, Tinkenberg hit a fast break jumper and the flood gates opened for the Vikings. Augustana scored nine straight points to answer a U-Mary layup and the Vikings had reached their largest lead of the game off a Nordgaard three-point bucket, 54-35.
The rest of the second half featured a balanced scoring attack from Augustana. Feeney scored seven points in a three-minute span to ice the game, including a three-pointer.
Lydia Nelson scored 13 points, followed by Tinklenberg with 12. Ashley only finished with four points, but grabbed eight rebounds to pair with her eight assists.
Knife finished with 15 points leading U-Mary and Laura Peterson collected seven rebounds, a team high.