Shaunteva Ashley dominated the first 20 minutes, then Riley Nordgaard and Rhianna Gullickson took their turn in the second half in a 99-82 win over Bemidji State on Friday night in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. With the win, the Vikings improved to 9-4 (5-4 NSIC). The Beavers dropped to 7-6 (3-6 NSIC) on the year.
The Vikings got a career-high 22 points from Nordgaard. The Canby, Minn. native went 7 for 11 in the game (63.6 percent) and tallied five steals, one short of her career high. It was the second consecutive game that the sophomore has scored at least 20 points.
Ashley did her damage in the first half, putting up 16 of her 22 points in the first 20 minutes of regulation. The Sioux Falls, S.D. native also dished out five assists in the victory. Gullickson waited until the second half for her big output, going 7 of 8 en route to 16 second-half points. The junior finished the game with 19 points and five rebounds.
Bemidji State's Kate Warmack and Morgan Lee combined for 40 – Warmack with 23 and Lee with 17 – of the Beavers' 82 points. Warmack also pulled down nine rebounds, but also had seven turnovers.
Augustana big night on the offensive end was a result of its best shooting night of the year. The Vikings shot a season-best 35 of 70 (50 percent) in the game. It didn't just end on that side of the ball, Augustana got after it on the defensive end as well, recording a season-high 17 steals.
The Beavers jumped out to a 7-0 lead under the first three minutes of the game, but the Vikings would answer with their own 10-0 run, capped off by Ashley getting fouled and making layup, then converting the free throw to take a 10-7 lead at the 16 minute mark in the first half.
Ashley struck again with a pair of 15-foot jumpers that put Augustana up 15-13 with 12:44 remaining in the half. The junior was hot early for the Vikings, hitting four of her first seven shots in the contest (57.1 percent) for a quick nine points.
Bemidji State would tie the game back up at 19-19 on an Emily Reichert layup midway through the half.
The Beavers would take a 29-28 lead with just under six minutes left on Warmack's layup. It was part of the senior's 13 points in the first half. The center also grabbed eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play.
Augustana would outscore Bemidji State 20-12 the rest of the half – capped off by an Alex Kneeland buzzer-beater 3-pointer to end the half - after a made Sydney Rome 3-pointer at the 5:11 mark.
Both teams were hitting their shots in the half, the Vikings going 18 for 37 (48.6 percent) and the Beavers shooting 16 of 31 (51.6 percent).
Augustana was able to get out and run in the first half, outscoring Bemidji State 12-0 in fastbreak points.
The Vikings also used some quick hands to record nine steals in the first half.
In the second half, the Vikings connected on two quick 3s – their sixth and seventh of the game - by Emily Schulte and Gullickson that was part of a 13-2 Augustana run that pushed its lead to 13 points at 63-50 . Gullickson scored 10 of her 19 points during the run.
The Beavers responded with a 12-4 run of their own to cut the Viking lead under double digits at 73-66. Jessie Althoff scored five points during the stretch. Bemidji State would never come closer than that the rest of the game.
Augustana would hold on comfortably after that, winning 99-82, giving the Vikings their third-straight win over the Beavers in the series' history.
Run, run, fast as you can
Augustana's up-tempo offense and defensive pressure resulted in a 22 fastbreak points tonight.
• The Vikings have now had two teammates score at least 20 points in a game for a third-straight game.
• Augustana's 87.5 free-throw percentage (21 of 24) is a new season high.
• The Vikings are now 3-0 this year when recording at least 20 assists in a game.
• Augustana's 35 made field goals were the most since its win vs. Presentation on Nov. 21.
• The Vikings' 17 steals were a new season high.
• Augustana is now 8-1 this year when a player scores at least 20 points.
• The Vikings are now 7-0 when shooting more free throws than opponent.
Augustana closes out the homestand on Saturday against Minnesota, Crookston. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Elmen Center.
Courtesy: Chris Smith, Assistant Sports Information Director, Augustana College