A fast start and strong first half proved to be difference for Winona State in a 78-62 win over Augustana in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action on Friday night. The Vikings dropped to 13-10 (10-7 NSIC) with the loss. The Warriors' record climbed to 19-5 (14-3 NSIC) on the year.
Casey Schilling led the Vikings with a game-high 17 points. Schilling scored 12 of his 17 in the second half after a slow start in the first half.
Adam Beyer tied his career high with 12 points and grabbed four rebounds for Augustana. Yuriy Malashenko (10) was the third Vikings' player to score in double figures in the loss.
Winona State's dominance on the boards played a key role in the Augustana loss, outrebounding the Vikings 37-27 on the evening.
Mark Blacklock and Skyler O'Laughlin each finished with 15 points for WSU. Blacklock also led Winona State with five assists.
Josh Mongan also contributed with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting in the Warriors' victory.
Winona State used some suffocating defense in the first half, holding the Vikings to just 22 points. The Vikings shot just 8 of 23 (34.7 percent) from the field and jumped out to a double-digit at 17-7 in just over six minutes.
The Warriors were able to shoot an impressive 58.6 percent (17 of 29) in the half, the result of being able to find open players with good ball movement and getting easy baskets in the paint. WSU recorded eight assists in the first 20 minutes of play.
Mongan led all scorers in the first half with nine points.
Beyer was the leading scorer for Augustana in the first half with six points. The De Pere, Wisc. native was just one of three Vikings who were able to connect on multiple field goals in the period.
WSU made its move in the first half at the 9:59 mark, going on a 17-8 run over the next 7:38 to increase its lead from 12 to 21 at 39-18.
The Vikings' struggles from the field in the half resulted in only two assists for Augustana.
Winona State's size caused trouble, with the Warriors holding a commanding 23-9 lead on the boards.
The normally ultra-efficient Schilling, couldn't find his offense in the half, scoring just five points on 2 of 7 shooting.
The second half started the same way the first ended, with Winona State opening up the half with a fast start, in this instance, a 12-6 run, highlighted by a Blacklock two-hand jam in the paint to give the Warriors a 53-28 lead with 15:13 left in the game.
The Vikings use a 10-2 run midway through the second half to get the Warriors' lead under 20 points at 68-50 with 7:40 remaining in the game.
A pair of made Malashenko free throws Augustana to within 16 at 70-54 with 5:48 left the in the game. It would be the closest the Vikings would get the rest of the game.
Both teams would trade baskets to close the final seven minutes, giving WSU the 78-62 win.
A silver lining
Despite being outscored 41-22 in the first half, Augustana refused the quit and outscored Winona State 40-37 in the second half while shooting 56 percent – compared to the 34.8 percent in the first half.
• Beyer's 12 points tied a career high.
• The Warriors' plus-10 rebounding advantage was only the second time this season the Vikings have been outrebounded by double digits.
• With only four made 3-pointers tonight, Augustana snapped a 10-game streak of making at least seven threes in a game.
• Schilling has now scored at least 17 points in 10-straight games.
• Isaac Jorgensen had a season-high seven points.
The Vikings return to the hardwood on Saturday to take on Upper Iowa (11-12, 9-8 NSIC) at the Elmen Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Courtesy: Chris Smith, Assistant Sports Information Director, Augustana College