Faith Tinklenberg led a balanced Augustana attack to an 82-69 victory over Upper Iowa on Friday night. The 23rd-ranked Vikings clinched at least a third-place finish in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and have a 20-5 overall record, 16-5 in the NSIC. The Peacocks fall to 7-21 overall, 4-17 in the NSIC.
TInklenberg led the Vikings with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The senior guard tied her career high in rebounds with her sixth offensive board of the game, late in the second half. Four other Vikings scored at least 10 points and Augustana racked up 22 assists and 33 fast break points.
Whitney Kieffer recorded game-highs in both points and rebounds, with 28 and 14, respectively. The Vikings were outrebounded 44-37 and allowed the Peacocks to grab 22 offensive boards, leading to 22 second chance points.
The First half opened with neither team able to put the ball in the basket. Augustana and Upper Iowa combined to start 2-16 shooting. The Vikings used a late run to finish with 37.5 percent first-half shooting and held the Peacocks to a dismal 21.1 percent showing in the first half.
The Vikings held an eight-point lead three times throughout the first half, with the first coming on a Rhianna Gullickson fast-break layup on a Shaunteva Ashley assist. Through the first 16 minutes of the half, Augustana connected on just four their 18 shots.
The Vikings connected on four of their last seven possessions of the half and closed out the Peacocks to take a 26-21 lead into the intermission. Ashley led the Vikings with nine points and three assists. The Vikings as a team committed 11 turnovers in the first half; over a third of their possessions ended with them giving the ball up.
In complete opposite fashion of the first half, Emily Schulte hit a jumper just four seconds into the second stanza. The Vikings expanded upon their lead which eventually reached a pinnacle of 17 points after Tinklenberg corralled an offensive rebound, her 10th total rebound of the night, and finished the putback, giving Augustana a 72-55 lead and Tinklenberg her double-double.
Schulte’s jumper at the 16:12 mark gave the Vikings their first double-digit lead of the game. Augustana and Upper Iowa traded baskets for several minutes before Alex Feeney led an 8-2 run and secured Augustana with a 65-49 lead.
The Vikings withstood a brief Peacock run and eventually Tinklenberg gave the Vikings their 17-point lead. Augustana nursed their double-digit lead to an 82-69 victory.
Both teams shot markedly better in the second half; the Vikings hit 57.9 percent of their shots and Upper Iowa connected on 48.3 percent of their attempts.
The Vikings close out the regular season by hosting Winona State at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23.
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