A 59-point second half surge carried sixth-ranked Augustana to a 98-69 win at Upper Iowa on Saturday evening. The Vikings remain undefeated at 9-0, 5-0 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action while the Peacocks fall to 3-8, 0-5 NSIC.
Alex Feeney scored a season-high 24 points to lead the potent Vikings offense which sank 15 three-point baskets shooting at a 46.9 percent clip from behind the arc and 43.8 from the field.
Shaunteva Ashley had a busy game racking up 18 points, eight assists, and five rebounds while hitting all six of her free throw attempts. Emily Schulte also was 6-6 from the foul line and finished with 15 points while Riley Nordgaard hit a season-high three three-point field goals to finish with 14 points and seven rebounds.
The Vikings recorded a season-high 21 fouls and sent the Peacocks to the free throw line 35 times. Upper Iowa hit 25-35 from the line including leading scorer Whitney Kieffer hitting 14-17 and finishing with 22 points.
The Viking defense continued in its stalwart nature holding Upper Iowa to 35.5 percent shooting an 0-12 from three-point distance. Augustana has yet to allow an opponent to shoot over 40 percent in a game this season.
After the Vikings started the game 0-5, including four missed three-point attempts, Feeney sank a 15-foot jumper and a three to tie the score at 5-5 providing a scoring spark the Vikings needed early. The teams traded a pair of free throws each before Feeney struck again from deep, this time off a Nordgaard offensive rebound.
Ashley kept the Vikings offense hot from deep with a three-pointer herself and she combined with Feeney to score the Vikings’ first 13 points.
Lydia Nelson answered two free throws by Upper Iowa with a jumper in the paint and Riley Nordgaard converted one of her two foul shots to put the Vikings up 16-11. Augustana took a timeout just before the ten-minute mark due to consecutive Peacock layups.
Schulte scored the next five points for Augustana with two free throws and then a long three-pointer. UIU answered with two free throws but Nordgaard and Ashley hit three-point baskets to go ahead 27-17.
The Peacocks chipped away at the lead with four straight free throws and Ashley answered with a pair of her own to conserve Augustana’s eight-point lead at 29-21.
Feeney and Ashley continued to carry the Vikings offense with a jumper each but the Peacocks would not falter and stayed within double-digits at 38-31.
The Vikings converted one of two free throws but the Peacocks continued to do their damage from the free throw line, hitting 16-20 in the first half and entered the intermission with Augustana ahead 39-34.
The Vikings hit seven of their 19 three-point attempts and shot 30 percent from the field in the first stanza. The Vikings did cause eight turnovers and dished out nine assists, but they also racked up eight turnovers themselves.
The second half started with a bang, Faith Tinklenberg and Feeney each hit a three-pointer and the Peacocks were forced to take a timeout up 45-34. Nelson followed up with a three of her own and Ashley hit a jumper to give Augustana a 50-35 lead.
Shulte, Nelson and Andrea Whitney, who finished with a game-high nine rebounds, all chipped in as the Vikings lead grew to 18 with 15 minutes still to play in the second half. The lead eventually reached 60-40 the product of a 21-6 run to open the second half.
Feeney hit a jump shot at the 10-minute mark to go ahead 68-49 after both teams traded baskets. Nordgaard hit a three on the ensuing possession.
Emily Bose came on strong off the bench and teamed up with Schulte and Feeney to put the Vikings up 81-54 at the six-minute mark.
Katie Meister and Rhianna Gullickson put the finishing touches on the landslide victory while Cami Koehn continued to light it up from deep to fuel the blowout.
The Vikings outscored Upper Iowa 59-35 in the second half and walked away with their 98-69 victory.
Augustana is off until Jan. 4 when they host Minnesota State at the Elmen Center at 6 p.m.
Courtesy: Eric Zahn, Assistant Sports Information Director, Augustana College