The backcourt duo of Emily Schulte and Shaunteva Ashley couldn't be stopped on Saturday, but that wasn't enough in a 74-73 loss to St. Cloud State in Northern Sun Intercollegiate play. The loss puts the Vikings' record at 11-9 (7-9 NSIC) on the year. The Huskies improved to 13-7 (9-7 NSIC).
Schulte, who was something else to watch in the first half, scored 18 of her career-high 27 points in the first half. The Sioux Falls, S.D. native was 9 of 13 in the contest (69.2 percent), which included going 4 of 5 from three, and also notched five steals. Ashley took over in the second half, scoring 13 of her 19 points in the final 20 minutes.
Riley Nordgaard was the other member of Augustana in double figures with 10 points and nine rebounds. Rhianna Gullickson pulled down 10 boards in the loss.
SCSU was led by Jessica Benson, who scored a game-high 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Rachel Moen chipped in with 17 points and five assists in the victory.
The Huskies forced the Vikings into 16 turnovers, not really that high, but converted them into 23 points which was the story of the game.
Augustana showed nice touch from beyond the arc, shooting 35 percent (7 of 20) from the 3-point line. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be enough to hold off St. Cloud State on Saturday.
High-scoring start by both teams led to a 14-11 SCSU lead at the first media timeout. Benson got off to a quick start, scoring seven points within the first six minutes of the game.
A score by Gullickson gave the Vikings their first lead at 15-14 in the contest. Gullickson was setup by Ashley on a great pick-and-roll play.
A mini 5-0 run Schulte run gave Augustana a 20-19 lead at the 9:35 mark in the half. Schulte came out going 5 for 5 with 4 steals in the first 10 minutes of action.
The Huskies would respond with a 7-2 run a little over midway through the first half to take a 26-22 in the game. Benson again was key, scoring five of the seven points inside the paint.
A pair of made 3-pointers by Schulte and Nordgaard put the Vikings back up at 28-26 with a little over seven minutes until halftime.
Schulte struck again moments later, getting her fifth steal in the first half and draining her third three of the game, putting Augustana up 33-30 with 4:09 remaining.
St. Cloud State found its rhythm in the final minutes of the half, going on a 12-0 run to head into the break with a 42-33 lead.
Sam Price scored all eight of her first half points in the final 90 seconds.
The Vikings started hot but fizzled out the final few minutes before the break, finishing up with 39.4 percent shooting (13 of 33) for the first 20 minutes of play.
Augustana kept it close in the first half with its 3-point shot, going 4 of 9 (44.4 percent) from deep.
Both teams traded baskets coming out of the half, with the Vikings trailing 53-44 at the first media timeout. Ashley scored four points in the first few minutes to start the half for Augustana.
St. Cloud State's Benson would continue her scoring ways early in the half, scoring six points in the first part of the second half as the Huskies led 58-49 at the 12:44 mark.
Augustana fought its way back into the game using a 9-2 run to cut the SCSU lead to four at 60-56 with 9:30 left in the contest.
A Moen three snapped a several-minute scoreless streak for both teams, putting St. Cloud State up 65-58. It was Moen's 15th point of the evening.
The Vikings got the Husky lead down to three after a Schulte basket that put the score at 73-70 in favor of SCSU. It was Schulte's 24th point of the evening, a new career high for the senior.
Augustana would get one last shot after an offensive foul by St. Cloud State gave them the ball. Gullickson would miss a jumper, but snatched the rebound and the Vikings took a 30-second timeout. On the in-bounds play, Augustana got called for an illegal screen at the top of the key.
SCSU would get the ball and hit one of two from the line, making it a two-possession game with four seconds remaining. Schulte hit a three at the buzzer to make the final score 74-73.
The Vikings return home for two games next weekend. First up, Augustana takes on Winona State on Friday at 6 p.m. in the Elmen Center. The Vikings will then play on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Upper Iowa.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Sports Information Director, Augustana College