SIOUX FALLS (Augustana) – The Augustana men’s basketball team swept the season series with Minnesota State with an 87-59 victory Saturday afternoon in the Sanford Pentagon on Senior Night. Coupled with Friday’s win over Concordia-St. Paul, the Vikings have vaulted themselves into fifth place of the NSIC South Division standings with a 10-10 NSIC record and a 14-12 overall mark. Minnesota State falls to 16-10, 10-10.
After trailing 11-10, just over five minutes into the game, the Vikings turned their jets on and soared into scoring mode beginning with an offensive rebound, putback, by Caden Hinker.
For the remainder of the opening half, Augustana outscored the Mavericks 34-11. The first half featured 15 points from the hands of Ryan Miller and 12 more from Akoi Akoi as part of the offensive onslaught. Augustana shot 54.8 percent from the field in the half while the defense forced eight turnovers and held MSU to just 28.6 percent shooting.
Between the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half, Augustana utilized its biggest run of the game, 13-0, to push a lead that built as large as 26 points on an Akoi jumper.
The Vikings’ lead never sunk below 21 points. The largest lead of the game was 36 points when Jadan Graves scored on a layup to make the score 73-37 with 8:26 to go in the game.
The scoreboard showed an 87-59 Augustana victory when the final buzzer sounded.
Fitting for Senior Night, Miller ended with a game-high 19 points. Joining the graduate transfer in double-figure scoring was Akoi with 16 points, Graves with 15 and Isaac Fink with 11 points. Fink tallied a game-high seven rebounds.
The Vikings shot 52.5 percent from the field for the game while continuing to excel at the charity stripe, going 16-of-17. Augustana’s defense limited MSU to just 33.3 percent shooting.
Along with Miller, Eric Tiedman was honored pregame in a ceremony thanking the two graduate students for their contributions to Viking men’s basketball.
Augustana remains at home for a Thursday night contest hosting Southwest Minnesota State. The game is the final regular season home game for AU while a possibility remains to host the first round of the NSIC Tournament.