No. 12 Augustana outrebounded 22nd-ranked Wayne State 55-37 and the Vikings ran away with a 73-50 victory on Tuesday night. Augustana moves to 12-2 with a 8-2 mark in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference competition while the Wildcats fall to 10-4 overall with a 6-4 record in the NSIC.
Alex Feeney recorded her second consecutive, and fourth overall, double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Lydia Nelson poured in eight points each half to tie her season-high of 16 points.
The Vikings were relentless on the glass, grabbing a season-high 55 rebounds, including 18 offensive boards that led to 22 second chance points. Augustana was held below 40 percent shooting for just the third time this year, but they grabbed 38 percent of their misses on the offensive glass.
The Vikings held the Wildcats to 32.2 percent shooting, including a 2-11 effort from behind the arc.
A hot shooting start for the Vikings gave them a cushion but the Wildcats stuck around. Riley Nordgaard had a pair of offensive rebounds that led to layups and Augustana had a 10-point lead, 20-10.
Both teams continued to trade buckets, but the Vikings held their edge that expanded to 15 points after Alex Feeney’s free throws. A missed layup by the Vikings squandered the chance for an Augustana 17-point lead and a Wayne State comeback ensued.
Five straight points by the Wildcats cut the lead to 31-21 and Augustana was held without a field goal for over four minutes until Feeney hit a turnaround jump shot to break the drought. Lydia Nelson answered a Wayne State bucket with a layup in the waning seconds of the first half. The Vikings entered intermission with a 35-23 lead, avoiding a Wayne State comeback in its entirety.
Rebounding played a key role in the first half; the Vikings held a 26-17 margin. Seven offensive rebounds led to 10 second chance points for Augustana.
Augustana began the second half on a 15-6 run and built a lead that eventually reached 28 points with 3:17 remaining in the game. After Wayne State’s Jordan Spencer, who scored a team-high 14 points for the Wildcats, hit a layup to cut the lead to 20 points at 54-34, Cami Koehn and Feeney hit three-point baskets to give the Vikings a 26-point cushion with 9:54 to play.
The Vikings’ lead hovered between 24 and 26 until Koehn hit her second triple of the night and Augustana’s lead reached its pinnacle at 28 points, 71-43. The bench cleared for the Vikings and WSC’s Kara Powell made a couple of three-point field goals, but the comeback attempt was too late.
Six Vikings scored at least six points and five Augustana cagers grabbed six rebounds or more.
The Vikings return home to host U-Mary and Minot State beginning with the Marauders on Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Elmen Center.
Courtesy: Eric Zahn, Augustana