A late second-half rally by St. Cloud State was enough to overcome an 11-point Augustana lead as the Huskies won 76-70 on Saturday in a much anticipated Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference matchup. The Vikings fell to 13-9 (10-6 NSIC) this season, while the Huskies improved to 15-5 (11-5 NSIC).
Casey Schilling (20) and Yuriy Malashenko (18) were the two members of Augustana in double figures. Malashenko's 18 points were a new career high to go along with his 13 rebounds, giving him his third double-double this year. Schilling also pulled down seven rebounds in the loss.
Matt Craggs led St. Cloud State with 23 points and 9 rebounds, but it was teammate Damarius Cruz who sparked the Huskies, scoring 16 of his 19 points in the second half while going 6 of 8 from the field on an assortment of shots.
Daniel Jansen's inability to stay out of foul trouble played a big part in the game. Jansen, whose size and skill in the interior create fits for most teams, was limited to just 15 minutes due to foul trouble.
The Vikings had 17 turnovers in the loss, with SCSU taking full advantage of it by recording 26 points off turnovers.
Augustana used some tough defense in the first half, holding the Huskies to 38.7 shooting (12 of 31), while going a smooth 46.7 percent (14 of 30) in the period.
Ethan Guske provided some nice offense in the first half, going 3 of 4 from beyond the arc for nine points in the first half. The Sheboygan, Wisc. native's nine points all came in the first period.
St. Cloud State's four assists in the half was the result of the Huskies having to shoot contested shots for the majority of the half. SCSU went 3 for 15 from beyond on the arc in the half. Augustana really had the long ball going in the first half, going 5 of 10 from three.
The Vikings got up by as much a nine points in the first half after Devin Gilligan setup Isaac Jorgensen with a great pass for a layup at the 3:59 mark.
Malashenko provided a nice punch for Augustana with six points and six rebounds in the first half.
Craggs was the lone bright spot in the first half for St. Cloud State on offense, scoring 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting. The rest of SCSU combined to go 7 of 22 (31.8 percent).
The Vikings outscored the Huskies 8-2 in bench points in the half.
Schilling found his groove in the second half, scoring nine of Augustana's first 11 points. Schilling's scoring outburst in the first five minutes of the half was part of an 11-3 run by the Vikings that put them up 46-37 heading into the first media timeout at the 14:45 mark.
A Malashenko layup off a Schilling steal put Augustana up 59-50 with 9:45 remaining.
The second half saw the game get chippy, with both teams reaching the bonus with 10 minutes remaining in the game. In the first half both teams combined to shoot six free throws. In the second half, it was 34 free throws.
SCSU fought its way back into the game, taking back the lead after a Cruz layup put the Huskies up 65-63 with 3:51 remaining. Cruz's layup was part of a 19-2 run for St. Cloud State. Cruz drilled three 3-pointers during the run and got into the lane a few times for some easy scores.
Augustana got more trouble with Jansen fouling out with 1:58 remaining. The sophomore, limited by foul trouble, finished with just four points and one rebound.
A made pair of free throws by Schilling with 54 seconds remaining brought the Vikings to within two 72-70, but Craggs was fouled while making a layup, and made the free throw to put SCSU up five with 19 seconds left.
Schilling got a good look to cut the lead to a one-possession game, but the shot rimmed out and St. Cloud corralled the rebound, forcing Augustana was to foul, eventually leading to the 76-70 Husky win.
• The Vikings' 17 turnovers were the second most they have had in a game this year.
• Schilling has now scored at least 20 points in 10 games this season.
• Malashenko now has three double-doubles this season.
• Guske has now made at least three 3-pointers in three consecutive games.
Augustana heads home for a four-game home stand over the next two weeks. The Vikings return to the hardwood on Friday to face Winona State at 8 p.m. in the Elmen Center. Augustana plays Upper Iowa on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Sports Information Director, Augustana College