MANKATO, Minn. - Three late Augustana turnovers and clutch shooting by Minnesota State handed the Vikings their second consecutive loss, 78-73, on Saturday evening. The loss drops Augustana to 14-4 overall and 10-4 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference competition, while the Mavericks improved to 14-4 overall, 10-4 in the NSIC.
Ali Wilkinson converted two free throws breaking a 69-69 tie after the Vikings were forced into a shot clock violation. Aubrey Davis then hit a three to put the Mavericks up five, 74-69 and Augustana threw away the ensuing inbounds pass. Free throws carried the Mavericks the rest of the game.
The Vikings committed 26 turnovers, including 18 in the first half. The Vikings managed to shoot 48 percent, but roughly 34 percent of Augustana's possessions ended in a turnover. Augustana also gave up a season-high 28 points off turnovers.
Alex Feeney led the Vikings with 12 points and 10 rebounds, her fifth double-double in her last six games. Wilkinson scored a game-high 20 points for the Mavericks
The game opened at a break-neck pace, but Augustana came out of the gates sloppily. Five straight turnovers by the Vikings fueled a 6-0 run for Minnesota State and Augustana was in a 16-8 hole five minutes into the first half.
Andrea Whitney hit a pair of layups to go along with a Cami Koehn three to cut the lead down to just two, 19-17. The Mavericks padded their lead, but Koehn broke another Augustana scoring drought with a triple and the Vikings entered the media timeout down 24-20.
Immediately after the media break, Koehn hit her third three of the half and the Vikings were within one point. Faith Tinklenberg gave the Vikings their first lead since the opening bucket with a three-pointer and Shaunteva Ashley hit a layup to cap off an 11-0 Augustana run.
Wilkinson and Jamie Bresnahan combined to tie the game at 28-28 with just less than six minutes in the first half. The teams traded free throws and 15-foot jumpers to stay deadlocked at 32-32.
Emily Shculte hit 1 of 2 at the line to snap her 21 consecutive free throws then Ashley broke a four-point spurt by the Mavericks with a free throw. Minnesota State finished the half on an 8-2 run and took a 40-34 lead into halftime.
The Vikings committed 18 turnovers in the first half, more than they had committed in 14 entire games. Augsutana shot 55 percent, but it was the turnovers that doomed them as they surrendered 14 points off turnovers each half.
For the first four minutes of the second half, The Vikings couldn't muster enough offense to get closer than the six-point lead MSU took into the half. Riley Nordgaard cracked the Maverick lead with a three from the corner and the Minnesota State lead was down to 46-43.
Ashley's layup cut the lead to one and her pull-up jumper again narrowed the margin to a single point after a pair of MSU free throws. Koehn hit a free throw to tie the game and Feeney gave Augustana its first lead since the 3:38 mark in the first half with two free throws, 50-48 with 11:39 to play.
Aubrey Davis hit a three-point bucket for the Mavericks just before the media timeout and Minnesota State was back on top, 53-50. Lydia Nelson broke up an 8-2 run by Minnesota State with a jump shot and a layup cutting the lead to 57-55.
Faith Tinklenberg answered an MSU three with one of her own to cut the lead back to two. Feeney tied the game 60-60 with a contested layup, but Minnesota State answered with a jumper.
Feeney followed a Nelson miss to tie the game before Nelson banked in a jump shot to give the Vikings a 64-62 lead with less than four minutes to play. Nelson then answered a Maverick layup with a 15-foot jump shot giving Augustana the lead again.
Tinklenberg broke yet another tie with a corner three, but Wilkinson completed a three-point play to tie the game back at 69-69. Wilkinson then converted her free throws to give the Mavericks a lead they would not relinquish.
Koehn and Tinklenberg each finished with 11 points and Nelson chipped in with 10.
The Vikings return home to face Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State beginning on Feb. 1 with the Bulldogs at 6 p.m.