Augustana withstood a late push by Minnesota, Crookston but held on for a 70-64 win to close out their road trip. The Vikings improve to 10-3 overall and 6-3 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Golden Eagles are 3-10 and remain winless in NSIC action at 0-9.
Alex Richter scored a career-high 17 points after tying his previous high of 15 one night before. The sophomore guard set a new best on 7-9 shooting including two clutch threes on as many attempts.
Cameron McCaffrey scored a game-high 19 points including some key free throws in the Vikings stretch run. Joe Burt pulled down a team-high six rebounds in his first career start with Casey Schilling sidelined.
Minnesota, Crookston had three players combine for 10-19 shooting from behind the arc. Brandon Burns hit four triples on the way to 18 points while Almir Krdzalic hit three to finish with 18 as well.
The Vikings opened the game with seven straight points but the Golden Eagles countered with a 15-4 run of their own. Neither team held a lead greater than four but the first half featured six lead changes.
With just under seven minutes remaining in the first half, Augustana reeled off another run, this time a 10-3 scoring burst led by Daniel Jansen’s eight points. The Vikings held onto that lead and a Richter jumper beat the buzzer to give Augustana a 39-32 lead into the intermission.
Within four minutes of the second half, the Vikings possessed a 15-point lead, led by McCaffrey’s nine points to open the second stanza. The Viking lead hovered around double digits as late as 5:28 left in the contest.
UMC’s Burns hit one of his four three-point field goals to cut the lead to seven and the Minnesota, Crookston charge had commenced. Justin Rake hit a three following a Zach Huisken free throw and the lead was seven.
Richter hit a free throw then sent Abdou Niang to the line where he converted one of two. Evan Pierce knocked down two free throws off the bench but Krdzalic answered with a three-point play to cut the lead to 68-64.
Huisken then hit a free throw and Rake’s three-point attempt fell short for Minnesota, Crookston before McCaffrey went 1-2 at the line to ice the game.
The Vikings forced 16 turnovers on the night and accumulated eight steals. From the line, the Vikings were 17-22 while only letting Minnesota, Crookston shoot five free throws, of which they made four.
The Vikings return to the road with a mid-week matchup at Wayne State on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m.
Courtesy: Eric Zahn, Assistant Sports Information Director, Augustana College