Augustana couldn't overcome a big first-half deficit in an 84-76 loss to Winona State on Saturday in the final regular season game of the year. The Vikings finished the regular season at 15-11 and 11-11 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Warriors' record improved to 10-16 (6-16 NSIC) with the victory.
Shaunteva Ashley made history by becoming the ninth player in team history with at least 1,000 points, 300 rebounds, and 300 assists in her career. Ashley though would be overshadowed by Abby Busch's historic day for Winona State. Busch set the all-time school record for points scored in a game with 39 in the victory for the Warriors.
Ashley led the Vikings with 17 points and a season-high seven assists. The Sioux Falls, S.D. native has now scored at least 16 points in a game in 14-straight games.
Riley Nordgaard and Rhianna Gullickson each finished with 13 points and five rebounds for Augustana in the loss.
Sydney Rome gave the Vikings a lift off the bench with 12 points, including going 3 of 7 from beyond the arc.
Busch's offensive game was on full display throughout the course of the game, finishing with a school-record 39 points, breaking the previous record of 36 set back in 1989. The senior also notched her third double-double this year with her 11 rebounds. The Fairfax, Minn. native just couldn't miss on the afternoon, going 14 of 16 (87.5 percent).
Tara Roelofs contributed with 17 points for the Warriors. Connor Nagle chipped in with 12 points, all coming in the first half.
Winona State was able to hold on for the wire-to-wire victory with dominant effort on the glass, outrebounding Augustana 42-23 for the game.
The Vikings couldn't take advantage of a good night from behind the 3-point line, hitting 11 3-pointers in the loss. The loss on Saturday marked the first time all season that Augustana had lost when making more than 10 threes in a game this year (7-1).
A slow start by the Vikings allowed the Warriors to jump out to an 8-0 lead. Augustana missed its first five shots, while Winona State connected on three of its first eight shots to begin the contest.
Gullickson finally got the Vikings on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer at the at the 15:01 mark, ending the near five-minute scoreless streak for Augustana.
Ashley's three, her first points of the game, at 11:55 got the Vikings to within two at 14-12. The long ball capped off a 12-6 run by Augustana.
WSU used a 6-0 run to enter the under-10 media timeout up 20-12 over the Vikings. Busch made an impact from the start for the Warriors with six points and four rebounds in just over 10 minutes of play in the first half.
A Katie Meister layup with 7:27 left ended an 11-3 Winona State run, making the score 25-17 in favor of the Warriors. Ashley made her mark in team history on the play with the assist, becoming just the ninth player in team history with at least 1,000 points, 300 rebounds, and 300 assists in her career.
Winona State pushed its lead back up to double digits after Busch continued to make her presence felt on the offensive end with a mid-range jumper, making it 31-21 with 4:28 left until the break, giving her 14 in the half.
The Warriors closed out the first half with some hot shooting, taking 45-31 lead into the break after Nagle drained a three with eight seconds left.
WSU shot the ball well in the first half, going 17 for 30 (56.7 percent). The Warriors also controlled the rebounding battle, holding a 22-11 advantage on the glass through the first 20 minutes.
The Vikings didn't have their magic touch from the previous night in the first half, shooting just 38.7 percent (12 for 31).
The trio of Busch (14), Roelofs (12), and Nagle (12) provided the firepower for Winona State in the first half.
Augustana came out applying full-court pressure to try and slow down the Warriors in the second half, but Winona State was able to break the press early, with Busch scoring 10 early points in the second to take a 57-42 at the under-15 minute media timeout.
A 13-2 run by the Vikings would make it a game at 59-55 in favor of WSU. Augustana made the majority of the run after Busch picked up her third foul and went to the bench for Winona State.
A quick steal and score for Emily Schulte tied the game up at 59-59. The Vikings' pressure defense began to be too much for the Warriors and allowed for Augustana's up-tempo style of play to begin to take over.
Busch's reemergence from the bench though gave Winona State new life, sparking a 10-2 run for the Warriors to push the lead back up to eight at 69-61 with 8:08 left in regulation.
The Vikings - depleted midway through second half with Nordgaard fouling out and an injury to Schulte – kept it close after two free throws by Ashley cut the Winona State lead to four at 73-69 with 4:15 left.
Rome's three at the 2:01 mark kept the Vikings close at 78-72. It was Rome's eighth point of the day.
Augustana wouldn't come any closer after that, falling 84-76 to the Warriors to close out the regular season.
Tomorrow's a new day
The Vikings get a much-needed home game at the Elmen Center in the first round of the NSIC Tournament on Wednesday, a place that has proven to be extremely tough to play in for the opposition since Augustana joined the NSIC.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Sports Information Director, Augustana College