Augustana men's basketball closed-out the final 1:46 of the game on a 13-4 run to earn a 79-70 win over Winona State University on Saturday night in Winona, Minn. Augustana concludes the regular season at 15-13 overall, 12-10 in the NSIC while Winona State, ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Central Region, drops to 18-4, 23-6 NSIC.
In the final Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings Augustana finished tied for ninth and fifth in the South Division with Sioux Falls. The Vikings won both meetings over USF this season and earned the fifth seed in the NSIC/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Tournament and will play at Northern State, the North Division No. 4 seed, on Wednesday night.
The Vikings were led by Casey Schilling tonight as he posted his 12th 20-point performance of the season. Schilling finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and three assists on 6 of 13 shooting. Daniel Jansen continued his streak of steady play pitching in with 19 points and five rebounds going 6 of 14 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range.
Adam Beyer came on strong in the second half for Augustana, scoring 11 of his 13 points in the second frame to go along with four assists and two rebounds on the night.
The Vikings finished the game 8 of 19 from 3-point range while holding the Warriors to just 5 of 23 (21 percent) from behind the arc. Augustana shot 45 percent (25 of 55) from the field and hit 21 of 24 (87 percent) from the free throw line.
Winona State was led by Riley Bambenek's 22 points as he finished 8 of 19 from the field with two 3-pointers. Mark Blacklock added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Warriors.
Augustana led Winona State for 12 minutes of the opening half before Winona State went on to take a six-point lead at the break.
The Vikings jumped out to a 10-5 lead as Jansen scored six points in the first six minutes of the game to help his team grab an early lead on the road. Winona State went on a six-point run over the next three minutes to make it a one-point game and eventually taking a lead after Kyle Bauman scored four straight points including a strong two-handed dunk to put his team in front 17-16.
The two teams traded points over the next two minutes before Mark Blacklock went scored on a fastbreak after a shot by Matthew Brazendale was blocked and the Warriors took a 23-21 lead. The basket sparked an 8-3 run for Winona State as they took a 29-24 lead with 2:45 left in the half.
Evan Piernce drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner off a nice dish from Jansen to cut the Warrior lead to two at 29-27 but Winona State scored four straight to end the half and take a 33-27 halftime lead.
Neither team shot particularly well in the first half as the Vikings were 8 of 26 (30.8 percent), including 3 of 9 from 3-point range. The Warriors were 13 of 31 (41.9 percent) from the field but were just 1 of 7 from behind the arc.
Both teams hit all of their free throws in the first half as the Vikings were 8 of 8 and the Warriors 6 of 6. Bambenek led all players with 10 points in the first half followed by Kyle Bauman's eight. Jansen scored nine points in the first 20 minutes for Augustana while Schilling pitched in with six and six rebounds.
Freshman guard Beyer sparked the Vikings in the first two minutes of the second half, scoring five points during a 10-4 run for Augustana as the Vikings were able to tie the game at 37-37 after Schilling went on a fastbreak and slammed one home hard with the right hand.
Winona State responded by scoring 12 of the game's next 17 points over the next four minutes and used back-to-back 3-pointers from Conrad Masberg and Taylor Cameron to put the Warriors up 49-42.
Augustana didn't shy away, scoring nine straight points, including a three-point-play and two from behind the arc to give the Vikings a 51-49 lead with 9:55 to play. Winona State tied the game for the fifth time of the night after a 3-pointer by Bambenek and a layup by Isaiah Gray to make the score 54-54 with 7:46 left in the game.
Augustana and Winona State would trade baskets to two more tie scores over the next five minutes setting up quite the finish for the visiting team. Augustana closed-out the final 1:46 of the game on a 13-4 run to earn its first win at McCown Gymnasium since Feb. 14, 2009, and just its second ever there.
Augustana will turn its attention to postseason play as the Vikings will open the NSIC/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Tournament on the road on Wednesday night. The Vikings will travel to Aberdeen, S.D. to take on Northern State at 8 p.m. at Wachs Arena.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Sports Information Director, Augustana College