Augustana jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in an 80-67 win over Minot State University on Saturday night. The Vikings (9-5, 6-2 NSIC) were led by Casey Schilling's career-high 27 points and Yuriy Malashenko's career night of 13 points and 16 rebounds.
Augustana scored the game's first 14 points and shot 52 percent from the field in the first half building an early lead. The Vikings led by as much as 22 in the second half, but Minot State cut the lead to eight with just under four minutes to play in the game.
Malashenko, who recorded a double-double in the first half alone, is the first player with 16 or more rebounds in a game at Augustana since Eric Krogman had 16 against MSU Moorhead on Jan. 9, 2009. Malashenko's 13 points and 16 rebounds are both career-highs for the senior.
Ben Shellim had a strong performance off the bench tonight, pitching in 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range. The Vikings used the 3-point basket to pull away from Minot State in the second half, going 9 of 26 (35 percent) for the game. Augustana was just 2 of 9 from behind the arc in the first half.
Augustana shot 43 percent (26 of 60) for the game while Minot State finished the game shooting 41 percent (22 of 54) after shooting just 28 percent from the field in the first half.
Minot State hit 11 3-pointers in the game, including 7 of 12 (58 percent) in the first half alone. E.J. Williams led Minot State in scoring with 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting, hitting 3 of 5 from 3-point range. Samuel Johnson was another one of four Minot State players in double-figures, as he finished with 15 points hitting three 3-pointers in the game.
Augustana got off to a fast start thanks to seven quick points from Schilling, including a 3-pointer, on its way to 14-0 lead four minutes into the game. Minot State got on the board on a 3-pointer by Johnson to bring the score to 14-3 heading into the game's first media timeout.
Minot State used the 3-point shot to hang with Augustana over the next four and a half minutes, hitting 5 of 7 attempts from behind the arc but the Vikings held a 26-17 lead after building the early lead.
The Beavers continued to chip away at Augustana's lead as Williams and Dominique McDonald hit 3-pointers on consecutive attempts to make it a five point game at 28-23 with 6:39 left in the first half.
Augustana closed-out the first half shooting 52 percent (14 of 27) from the field to take a 37-26 lead. The Vikings ended up just 2 of 9 from 3-point range in the half but got big performances from Schilling and Malashenko to hold on it its early lead.
Schilling led all players with 14 first-half points while Malashenko posted 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Shellim added seven points off the bench in the first half on 3 of 6 shooting, including 1 of 2 from 3-point range.
After starting out 0 for 9 from the field, Minot State finished the half 8 of 28 (28 percent) from the field but was lights out from 3-point range, hitting 7 of 12 (58 percent) to get itself back into the game after the early deficit.
Augustana bumped its lead to 12 a little over two minutes into the second half but McDonald hit his third 3-pointer of the game for Minot State to get the Beavers within nine at 42-33. Schilling answered with a 3-pointer of his own, sparking a 13-4 run for Augustana and the Vikings pushed their lead to 18 at 55-37 after back-to-back 3-pointers by Shellim and Evan Pierce.
Augustana led 63-40 with 11:45 to play but the Beavers would not go away without a fight as they went on a 17-6 run over the next 5:25 to get within 11 at 68-57 with 6:20 remaining in the game.
Minot State pulled even closer after back-to-back 3-pointers from Johnson and Thomas Korf cut Augustana's lead to eight at 71-63 with just under four minutes to play in the game.
That would be as close as the Beavers would get as the Vikings put things away with nine points in the final 1:25 of the game for the 80-67 victory.
Augustana is now 3-0 all-time against Minot State and won its first ever game that it has played at the MSU Dome.
Augustana has now won three straight games, matching its season-long win streak total.
Malashenko recorded his third career and second double-double of the season.
Schilling scored a career-high 27 points and has scored 20 or more in a game seven times this season.
Augustana finished with 43 rebounds, marking the sixth time this season with 40-plus rebounds in a game.
Augustana had 18 second-chance points, marking the 12th time in 14 games he Vikings have had 10 or more in a game.
Augustana improved to 8-2 on the season when out-rebounding its opponent and 6-0 when leading at the half.
Augustana returns to the Elmen Center on Jan. 10-11 to host Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston. The Vikings will take on BSU at 8 p.m. on Friday night and UMC at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Sports Information Director, Augustana College