Augustana (5-0, 1-0 NSIC) shot a season-high 78 percent from the free throw line connecting on 25 of 32 shots from the charity stripe earning a 72-66 win over Wayne State (5-1, 0-1 NSIC) in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opener for both teams. Cameron McCaffrey led the Vikings with 16 points, knocking down 10 of 12 free throws.
Augustana shot a season-high 78 percent from the free throw line in the game. The Vikings were 25 of 32 from the charity stripe after starting the game a perfect 15 of 15 from the line. Zach Huisken reached double-digits for the first time in his career finishing with 10 points while also grabbing five rebounds.
Brennan Olson was one point shy of tying a career-high as he finished with 11 points and seven boards.
Amry Shelby led Wayne State scoring 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. Ty Bauschek scored 13 for WSC hitting 3 of 9 3-pointers. Ayron Worthington added 11 points and Derrell Williams contributed 10 to round-out WSC’s double-digit scorers.
Augustana opened up an early lead going on a 15-2 run in the first four minutes of the game. Taylor opened the scoring with a 3-pointer followed by a 3-point play by McCaffrey. The senior drove the lane got the bucket and the foul to put the Vikings in front 6-2. On the next possession, Daniel Jansen drilled his first 3-pointer of the season pushing Augustana’s lead to 9-2.
Wayne State cut Augustana’s lead to 10 at 19-9 with 12:46 left in the first half after buckets by Ayron Worthington and Shelby. Shelby delivered on a 3-point play after hitting a jumper and taking the foul.
Freshman post Huisken helped Augustana push its lead back up to 12 with 10:26 left in the half scoring on three consecutive possessions for the Vikings.
Wayne State used a 14-4 run over the next five minutes of the game to cut Augustana’s lead to two at 27-25 with 5:08 left in the half. Huisken pushed Augustana’s lead back to four with a hard dunk of the baseline and dish from fellow freshman Jansen.
Shelby kept the Wildcats in the game throughout the first half scoring 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting, including 1 of 1 from 3-point range. Augustana took a 37-31 lead into halftime, scoring six points in the last three minutes of the half, including four points from the free throw line.
Augustana used its size advantage over the Wildcats in the first half to get to the free throw line. The Vikings were 11 of 11 from the free throw line in the first half while the Wildcats were 1 of 1 from the charity stripe.
The Vikings offense was spread out in the first half, led by Huisken’s eight points. Jansen and McCaffrey each added seven points for Augustana. Augustana shot 54 percent (12 of 22) from the field in the half, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range. Wayne State shot 52 percent from the field and was also 2 of 4 from 3-point range.
Augustana was opportunistic in the first half scoring 16 points off eight Wayne State turnovers. The teams were even on the glass in the half with Augustana holding a slight edge grabbing 12 rebounds to Wayne State’s 11.
Wayne State opened up the second half on an 8-4 run to cut Augustana’s lead to two at 41-39 just under four minutes into the half. Back-to-back buckets by Nomeland and Schilling pushed Augustana’s lead back to six at 45-39 forcing a Wildcat timeout at the 14 minute mark of the half.
Augustana and Wayne State battled back and forth for the remainder of the second half with Augustana never losing the lead. Wayne State came as close as four points with 41 seconds left after a 3-pointer by Ben Galemmo but the Vikings used the free throw line to its advantage to hang on for the win.
The Vikings hit nine free throws in the final three minutes of the game to seal the victory. Augustana had struggled all non-conference season from the free throw line but used it to pick up a win over the Wildcats on Saturday.
Augustana continues its homestand next Friday night hosting Southwest Minnesota State on 8 p.m.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Sports Information Director, Augustana College