SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (February 15, 2013) – The University of Sioux Falls used an explosive first half to top Augustana College 70-58 Friday night and snap a 11-game series losing streak in the first-ever matchup between the two schools at the Stewart Center. Following a 14-point first half, the Cougars held off a late Viking's push with clutch free throw shooting at the line, where they converted 21-of-25 attempts in the final period.
The last time USF had defeated Augustana was during the 1994-95 season. With the win, USF has won three-straight and improved to 11-12, 7-12 in NSIC play.
USF came out excited and jumped all over Augustana early. Mid-way through the first half, the Cougars turned up their defensive pressure and began to create offense with defense. They forced eight turnovers to close the half on a 19-9 run and take a 37-23 lead into the break.
It wasn't just strong defense for USF in the first half, they also couldn't miss. The Cougars fired at a 56 percent clip from the field and netted seven 3-pointers on 11 attempts in the first half. They also stole 12 points off Viking turnovers.
USF made six of their first 10 shots in the second half and appeared to pulling away when Derek Brown made it a 20-point margin, 52-32, with 12:46 to play. However, the Vikings weren't ready to roll over.
Behind a couple of Tanner Odegaard 3-pointers, Augustana trailed just 52-40 with 10:01 to go. The Vikings continued to chip away at USF's lead and McCafferey's three at the 1:52 mark made the score 59-54.
That is as close as Augustana would come, as they were forced to foul and USF sealed it at the line.
The most compelling stat of the game is that USF's last field goal came at the 12:46 mark of the second half. Their final 18 points came at the stripe, where they went 18-of-22 to end the game.
USF's bench was also a major factor. The Cougars' reserves outscored Augustana's, 34-16.
James Rader led the way for USF, pouring in 19 points, on 8-of-12 shooting, and six rebounds. His total matched Cameron McCafferey for a game-high. Robert Goffney also had a solid night, especially at the charity stripe. He went 7-of-8 at the line and finished with 12 points. Maxwell was the third Cougar in double-digits. He was a perfect 9-of-9 at the stripe and tallied 11 points on the night.
A.J. Holland added nine points and a game-high seven boards.
USF hosts Wayne State College in their final home game of the season tomorrow. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Augustana's Emily Schulte matched her career-high with 19 points to lead Augustana to an 83-58 victory at the Stewart Center in Sioux Falls on Friday night. The Vikings, ranked 23rd in the country, (18-5, 14-5 NSIC) shot 56 percent from the field while knocking down 10 3-pointers to down the Cougars (11-12, 8-11 NSIC).
Cami Koehn came off the bench to score 16 points for the Vikings on 4 of 6 shooting, including 3 of 4 from the field. Koehn added 5 of 7 from the free throw line and two rebounds. Andrea Whitney added 13 points, seven rebounds and a career-high three steals while Shaunteva Ashley and Alex Feened each pitched in with 13 points.
Alyssa Rushton and Laura Johnson led the Cougars with 11 points on the night. Johnson finished with a double-double adding 10 rebounds.
With the game tied at four, Schulte and Ashley nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Vikings a 10-4 lead just under five minutes in to the game.
The Vikings went on a 10-5 run to take a double-digit lead just before the midway point of the first half. Augustana was able to push its lead to go up by 11 at 20-9 after a fastbreak triple by Schulte forcing a Cougar timeout.
Augustana was able to push its lead up to 15 with 4:58 to go in the half when Schulte stripped Kelli Hoff of the ball and was fouled on the fastbreak. Schulte missed one of two free throws but she gave the Vikings a 31-16 lead.
USF scored on consecutive possessions after a layup by Strassburg and a 3-pointer by Alyssa Rushton after a turnover by Andrea Whitney to bring the Cougars within 10 at 31-21.
Augustana took a 33-21 lead into halftime after Whitney scored her fourth basket of the game with 54 seconds left in the half. Whitney and Schulte led the Vikings in the half with nine points each.
The Vikings shot 45 percent (13 of 29) from the field in the first half, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range. USF was 8 of 30 (27 percent) from the field, including 3 of 13 from 3-point range.
The Cougars came out of halftime and cut Augustana's lead to nine at 36-27 after Rushton nailed a 3-pointer at about the four-minute mark of the second half.
Augustana pushed the lead up to 13 before the Cougars cut it to 10 at 41-31 with 14:27 to play in the game.
That would be as close as USF would get as the Vikings pushed the lead to 16 over the next three minutes after a 3-pointer by Schulte.
Augustana took its largest lead of the night with 14 seconds left after Koehn hit two free throws giving the Vikings an 83-58 lead which would end up as the final score.
The Vikings head to Marshall, Minn. tomorrow night to take on Southwest Minnesota State beginning at 5 p.m.