SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The 24th ranked Augustana men’s basketball team prevailed 64-61 Friday night over Southwest Minnesota State inside the Sanford Pentagon. Sophomore Matt Todd led the Viking charge with a game-high 25 points.
Augustana improves to 11-2 on the season and 6-1 in the NSIC, setting up a first-place showdown Saturday night inside the Sanford Pentagon as the Vikings host Sioux Falls. Southwest Minnesota State falls to 4-9 overall and 1-6 on the year.
An 11-0 run midway through the first half propelled the Vikings from an 11-6 deficit into a 17-11 lead thanks to 3-point baskets from senior Beau Keeve and Todd. Junior Tyler Riemersma tallied an old-fashioned 3-point play when he scored on a layup while getting fouled and also added a basket in the run.
The Vikings’ lead grew to 13 points on a pair of Michael Schaefer free throws before entering intermission with a 34-24 advantage.
Southwest Minnesota State fought back in the opening minutes of the second half to knot the game at 41-all, showing it was going to be a fight to the end.
Augustana trailed just once in the half, a one-point deficit at 46-45, but could not pull away by more than six points. In the closing 21 seconds, Augustana went 8-of-8 from the free throw line to close the game with the 64-61 victory. In the closing stretch, Todd was 6-of-6 from the charity stripe while junior Adam Dykman was 2-of-2.
The Vikings overcame shooting woes in the contest, sinking just 27.9 percent of their field goal attempts to hold off SMSU, who shot 49 percent for the game. Augustana limited the second chances for the Mustangs, outrebounding them 41-33. Riemersma grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end.
Augustana also took advantage of free throws, sinking 20-of-24 attempts.
Kenny Byers led Southwest Minnesota State with 21 points.
Sioux Falls topped Wayne State 77-65 Friday night to set up Saturday’s contest. Coupled with Northern State’s loss to Upper Iowa, the winner between the Vikings and Cougars will hold the overall lead in the NSIC along with the NSIC South Division. Tip-off from the Sanford Pentagon is slated for 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at GoAugie.com/Tickets.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A frantic fourth-quarter comeback attempt fell short for the Augustana women’s basketball team in a 60-55 loss Friday night to Southwest Minnesota State.
Augustana (6-5, 2-5 NSIC) trailed by as many as 15 points in the third quarter and entered the final stanza down 11 points at 44-33. That jumpstarted a 15-5 run as the Vikings pulled within a single digit at 49-48 on a pair of Hannah Mitby free throws with 3:55 remaining in the game.
During the run, Abby Hora totaled seven of her team-high 18 points.
The Mustangs (6-6, 1-6 NSIC) answered the run with a layup to stretch the lead back to three points but a pair of Mitby free throws again cut the deficit to just one point. After SMSU again answered with a layup, Hora made the score 53-52 but that was the closest Augustana would get as Southwest Minnesota State stretched the lead back to six points before settling on the final score of 60-55.
The Vikings had a tough evening shooting the ball and shot just 33.3 percent on 21-of-63 shot attempts. The night got even more difficult from deep, hitting just three long-range field goals on 21 attempts.
Aislinn Duffy joined Hora in double-figure scoring with 12 points while grabbing a game-high eight rebounds.
Southwest was led by Madison Gehloff with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
Augustana remains at home Saturday hosting Sioux Falls inside the Sanford Pentagon. Tip-off is slated for 3:30 p.m.