SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Following an impressive performance on Saturday, the Augustana men's basketball team carried their momentum into Sunday with a 74-60 win over Bemidji State. The Vikings pushed their win streak to four games and jumped into second place in the NSIC South. Augustana moves to 7-4 (4-1 NSIC) and Bemidji State drops to 4-5 (1-4 NSIC).
Augustana head coach Tom Billeter was pleased with the performance of his program on both ends of the court. "You know, I thought we did a great job of limiting them from the field," Billeter said, "They came into today shooting above 50% and we held them to 42%. "Michael Schaefer stepped up and we also did a great job of mixing our defenses in the second half."
The Vikings registered 11 players in the scoring column on Sunday, including a game-high 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists from Tyler Riemersma. Including Saturday's performance, Riemersma ends the weekend with 46 points, 25 rebounds, and 9 assists. Michael Schaefer poured in 16 boards and 5 rebounds, Matt Cartwright also hit double-figures with 11 points and 3 boards. Following a 37 point performance, Cartwright averaged 24 points over the weekend.
Once again, one of the keys for the Vikings was their ability to force turnovers and score in transition. The Vikings forced 11 turnovers, which led to 20 points. The Vikings offense also shared the ball, finishing with 15 helpers on 28 field goals. Augustana also shot above 50% from the field for the second straight game.
Similar to Saturday, Tyler Riemersma started off strong for the Vikings. The sophomore scored the games first points inside, hit a pair of long threes from the baseline, and then connected off the glass for another bucket. The big man scored 10 of the first 12 points for Augustana.
A Matt Cartwright jumper gave the Vikings a 7-6 lead, and moments later Beau Keeve knocked down a triple to push the Augustana lead to 15-8 at the 13:04 mark.
Bemidji State continued to stick around. Jacob Hoffman scored plus a foul to cut into the deficit, but the Vikings Trevor Hanson answered by scoring on an easy layup inside.
Late in the 1st half, the Viking's Michael Schaefer went to work in the paint. The freshman scored six straight points inside, and with 5:58 left in the 1st Augustana had expanded their lead to 31-17.
The Vikings offense continued to use an inside-out presence to build their lead. Dylan LeBrun kicked it out to Bodey Behrends, and the sophomore buried a deep two for his first points of the night. By half, Augustana led 43-28.
Augustana also played strong first-half defense, limiting Bemidji State to just 10 made field goals and 9 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
The Vikings started the second half by going right back inside to Schaefer. He scored plus a foul and secured double-digits for the 7th time this year. Bemidji State then cut into the lead, starting the half on a 12-5 run. The Beavers Logan Bader scored to make it an eight-point game.
However, Trevor Hanson, who is shooting 52% from downtown, knocked down a big three to stop the Beaver run. With 14:40 to go, Augustana regained a 51-40 lead.
With the Vikings leading by 11 midway through the second, they went back to one of the hottest hands in the conference. Following a career-high 37 points on Saturday, Cartwright went on another streak and scored 8 of 11 points to push the lead to 64-45.
Following a pair of Schaefer buckets - including a scoop and score plus a foul - the freshman had stretched the lead to 19 points and put the game on ice,
Augustana finished the night 28-54 (51.9%) from the field, and once again controlled the glass with a +4 advantage. For the fourth straight game, the Vikings finished with 26 or more points in the paint.
The Vikings will now stay at home as they wrap up a three-game homestand on Wednesday. The tip-off vs. Hastings (Neb.) is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Elmen Center.