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WBK: Ashley Leads Augie Past U. Mary

January 3, 2014, 11:03 PM

WBK: Ashley Leads Augie Past U. Mary

Augustana women's basketball started off 2014 the right way, winning 88-76 over U-Mary on Friday night in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.  The win improved the Vikings' record to 8-3 (4-3 NSIC), while the loss dropped the Marauders to 5-5 (3-4 NSIC).

The backcourt of Shaunteva Ashley and Emily Schulte led the way for the Vikings, with the duo combining for 45 points – a career-high 24 for Ashley and 21 for Schulte - on 14-of-24 shooting (58.3 percent).  Schulte also dished out six assists in the victory, while Ashley grabbed five rebounds.

Rhianna Gullickson also recorded her first collegiate double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.

Augustana's defense played with relentless energy and effort, forcing U-Mary into 25 turnovers.  The aggressive play by the Vikings resulted in 28 points off turnovers.

The Marauders' Linda Murray had a team-high 20 points and also grabbed eight rebounds.  Brittney Dietz contributed with 16 points and four assists. 

U-Mary would take a quick 4-0 lead to start the game, but Augustana would jump out to a 16-10 lead by the first media timeout and would never look back.  Schulte contributed quickly, hitting two of her first three 3-point shots.  The Vikings would make three of their first four 3-pointers.

Augustana would continue to build on the momentum generated early in the game, pushing its lead to 21-10 with 12:53 remaining in the first half.  The Vikings would do it with some hot shooting, going 8 for 11 (72.7 percent) to start the game.

Dietz would end the 11-0 Augustana run by hitting a three of her own, cutting the Viking lead to 21-13.

Schulte would deliver the highlight of the game with a behind-the-back pass to Ashley on a 2-on-1 break at the 6:26 mark that would put Augustana up 36-22.

Both teams would play even after that, with the Vikings taking a 50-39 lead into halftime.  Schulte put on a passing display in the first 20 minutes with all six of her assists coming in the half.

The Vikings' defense forced 14 Marauders' turnovers in the first half, and made U-Mary pay, converting those turnovers into 21 points.  Augustana would knock down seven 3-pointers in the half.

Gullickson would chip in with seven points and four rebounds.  Ashley would have 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field in the first half.

The second half got rolling with the Vikings picking up right where they left off with a quick 12-7 run to take a 62-46 into the first media timeout in the second half.

The Marauders used an 11-4 run to climb their way back into the game, cutting the Augustana lead to nine points at 66-57 midway through the second half on a Dani Clarke 3-pointer.

U-Mary would get to the foul line several times in the final 10 minutes of play, but couldn't convert its free-throw chances, going just 10 of 18 (55.6 percent) in the half.

The Vikings would force U-Mary to foul to extend the game.  Augustana took advantage of the situation, going 13 of 17 from the line in the second half, winning 88-76 over the Marauders.

Play of the game
Schulte's behind-the-back pass to Ashley on a 2-on-1 break at the 6:26 mark in the first half was a thing of beauty to watch.

Game notes
• Ashley's 24 points and Schulte's 21 points were the first time this season that two Vikings have had 20-point games in the same game.
• Augustana is now 3-0 this year when they make 10-plus threes in a game.
• The Vikings are now 6-0 this season when scoring more than 80 points in a game.
• Katie Meister grabbed nine rebounds for a second-straight game.
• Augustana's 50 points scored in the first half is second time this year that the Vikings have scored at least 50 points in a half.
• Augustana has forced 20-plus turnovers for a third-straight game.
• Riley Nordgaard's six steals are a new career-high.

Up next
The Vikings close out their road trip by facing Minot State (8-3, 4-3 NSIC) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Minot, N.D.

Courtesy: Tim Evans, Sports Information Director, Augustana College

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