It came down to 1.8 seconds left in overtime on Saturday, but Jordyn Dudley hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer for Concordia-St. Paul to knock off Augustana 81-79 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. The Vikings dropped to 10-6 (6-6 NSIC) with the loss. The Golden Bears improved their record to 13-6 (8-4 NSIC) with the victory.
In a wildly-contested game that saw 12 lead changes, both teams made huge plays at the end of regulation and overtime, Concordia-St. Paul just made one more play than Augustana, and that was enough on Saturday. Dudley, who hadn't played up until the final possession, got free and drilled the game-winner for Golden Bears on the right side of the court.
The Vikings got huge performances by Shaunteva Ashley and Riley Nordgaard, and some key late-game baskets by Emily Schulte. Nordgaard had her finest outing yet this season, scoring 20 points and grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds in the loss. Ashley, who attacked the rim relentlessly during the contest, poured in a game-high 23 points and handed out four assists. Schulte, limited by foul trouble early, scored seven of her nine points in the final five minutes of regulation and overtime before eventually fouling out.
Rhianna Gullickson also had another solid night with 14 points and six rebounds.
Concordia-St. Paul was led by the trio of Rachel Hansen, Anika Whiting, and Ameshia Kearney. Hansen would led all Golden Bears with 21 points and had five assists and five rebounds. Whiting, finished with 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting and pulled down eight boards. Kearney notched 18 points in the victory.
The Vikings shot just 34.7 percent (25 of 72) compared to CU's 42.6 percent (29 of 68) for the game, but it was Augustana's zone defense in the second half that caused the Golden Bears problems and helped them erase a nine-point deficit from late in the first half.
Both teams came out and got their offenses going early, with Augustana taking a 13-11 lead into the first media timeout. Hayley McCarron scored five quick points for Vikings in the opening minutes.
Each team continued to trade baskets, with Concordia-St. Paul getting inside and scoring in the paint. 12 of the Golden Bears first 20 points came in the post. Augustana would counter with good ball movement early, resulting in open looks for McCarron and Ashley, which they converted. CU held a 20-18 lead with 9:40 left in the first half.
A beautiful touch pass from Nordgaard to Gullickson ended a five-minute shooting slump for the Vikings, cutting the Golden Bears lead to two at 24-22 with 5:28 left.
CU would end the half with a 15-8 run in the final 5:16, taking a 37-31 lead into the break. Kearney had 11 points in the first half to lead all scorers on an efficient 3-of-5 shooting.
Ashley, Gullickson, and McCarron would provide the offense for Augustana in the first 20 minutes, with all three each scoring eight points apiece.
Concordia-St. Paul was able to get into the Vikings into foul trouble in the first half, helping them get to the line 15 times in the back-and-forth first half between the two teams.
In the second half, Augustana came out aggressive and got into the paint early and often, a trend that would continue for the rest of the game. The Vikings used a quick 11-6 run to cut the Golden Bears' lead to one at 43-42 at the 14:38 mark. Augustana's run was highlighted by a great pass from Ashley attacking the paint and dishing to a cutting Gullickson, who converted the layup.
The Vikings would take their first lead since early in the first half on a Nordgaard turnaround jumper in the paint, putting Augustana up 46-45 at the 12:00 mark in the second half.
CU would push back with an 8-1 run, putting them up 57-52 with 6:28 remaining in the game.
Golden Bears' head coach Paul Fessler would get a technical foul with 4:32 left, which Ashley would convert both free throws, giving the Vikings the lead at 58-57.
Things would get interesting when Augustana was down three with 11 seconds remaining and Nordgaard was fouled when attempting a 3-pointer at the top of the key. Nordgaard, not fazed by the pressure, sank all three free throws to tie the game up at 69. Concordia-St. Paul would not be able to get a good look and the game headed to overtime.
In overtime, the Golden Bears would score the first three points, but the Vikings would score the next six to go up 75-72 with 1:58 to go.
A late three by Hansen would tie the game at 77-77 with 33 seconds left. Hansen, not known as a deep shooter, came into the game with a 16 percent mark from beyond the arc on the season.
Schulte would hit a huge layup with six seconds remaining to put Augustana up by two at 79-77. Hansen immediately drew Schulte's fifth foul brining the ball up the court, and stepped to the line hitting the first free throw but missing the second. Both teams battled for the possession, but a jump ball was called with the possession arrow in favor of Concordia-St. Paul with 1.8 seconds remaining.
The Golden Bears would take a timeout and drew up a play that found Dudley open on the right side of the court to hit the game-winning 3-point shot at the buzzer, giving CU the 81-79 win.
Ashley would score six of her 23 in the overtime period, going 4-of-4 from the line and making her lone shot attempt.
What might have been
Schulte's late-game layup with six seconds left in overtime was headed for the play of night, and probably year for the Vikings, but a game-winning three by Dudley changed all of that.
• This was the first time all season that Augustana has lost when scoring more than 72 points in a game.
• Ashley has now scored at least 22 points in four of her last six games.
• Nordgaard's five steals marks the third time this season the sophomore has recorded at least five steals in a game.
• The Vikings' four 3s made is their second-lowest total of the season.
• Augustana's eight assists were a new season low.
• The Vikings' 83.3 free-throw percentage is their second-best output of the year.
The Vikings return home for a pair of NSIC games at the Elmen Center. First up, Augustana looks to sweep the season series against rival Sioux Falls on Friday at 6 p.m. The Vikings close out the weekend on Saturday in a matchup against Southwest Minnesota State. Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Sports Information Director, Augustana College