Wayne State’s Ty Bauschek hit a layup with 6.7 seconds left and Augustana’s two shots before the buzzer both rimmed out as the Vikings were handed a 64-63 loss at Wayne State. The Vikings drop to 10-4 overall, 6-4 in the Northern Sun intercollegiate Conference and the Wildcats improve to 11-5 overall, 5-5 in the NSIC.
Troy Wright hit two free throws with 14.1 seconds remaining and stole a Cameron McCaffrey pass at half court and hit a cutting Bauschek for the eventual game-winner. Wright scored a game-high 21 points while McCaffrey led the Vikings with 19.
A game that featured 14 tie scores also did not have a team hold a lead larger than five points after the 14:45 mark in the first half. Adol Aloung hit a three giving Wayne State a brief two-point lead, 56-54, with just under six minutes that proved to be their last until the game-clinching layup.
Alex Richter hit a layup that was followed by an Evan Pierce three to give Augustana a three point margin. The Vikings caused two turnovers on WSC’s next possessions and Richter made two free throws pushing the Vikings’ lead to 61-56 with 2:10 remaining in the contest.
Derrell Williams made one of two free throws and Bauschek drilled a three-pointer with to cut Augustana’s lead to one, 61-60. Then Yuriy Malashenko found a cutting Dan Jansen who banked in a layup from the left side of the basket and Augustana was up 63-60 with 21 seconds left.
Wright quickly took the inbounds pass, went coast-to-coast, attempted a layup, and was fouled by Jansen leading to the free throws that cut the game to one.
The Vikings shot an admirable 43.4 percent but allowed Wayne State to shoot 51.1 percent from the field including 8-17 from behind the arc. The Vikings outrebounded WSC by 10, 35-25, and scored 10 second chance points off 12 offensive rebounds, but their final second chance attempt rolled off the rim and time expired.
A sloppy start from both teams featured a combined 4-15 shooting and nine turnovers through nearly eight minutes of game time for both teams. Wayne State opened on a 7-0 run before the Vikings countered with a 9-0 run of their own led by Alex Richter’s six points.
Evan Pierce answered a Wayne State layup with his first-career three-point field goal in an Augustana uniform then Cameron McCaffrey followed with a floater in the lane. That five point Augustana lead, 14-9, was the last time either team had more than a three-point cushion.
The remainder of the first half featured nine tie scores and a pair of lead changes. McCaffrey and Wright then shouldered the offensive load for their respective teams into the intermission. Wright scored 17 first-half points and McCaffrey led the Vikings with 13.
Malashenko tied the game at 28-28 with a pair of free throws and Wright hit one of two at the line for the last tie score of the first half. McCaffrey then converted a three-point play, but Bauschek found a soft spot in the Augustana zone and hit a 15-foot jump shot to end the half with the Vikings up 33-32.
Entering halftime, both teams had eight turnovers each but had shaken off the slow shooting starts, led by McCaffrey and Wright.
In the second half, neither team could hold a lead as there were six lead changes before McCaffrey’s layup gave the Vikings a lead in the closing minutes. Richter scored eight points in the second half and finished with 14, his third consecutive game scoring in double figures.
Joe Burt ripped down nine rebounds to share the lead with Williams for a game-high and McCaffrey led the game with five assists.
The Vikings return home for a pair of games with U-Mary and Minot State beginning with the Marauders at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18.
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