SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AUGIE) – The Augustana men’s basketball team earned a season sweep over Southwest Minnesota State with a 69-61 win Thursday night in the regular season home finale.
Augustana, 15-12 on the season and 11-10 in the NSIC, never trailed and with the exception of the 0-0 score, the game was never tied. The Mustangs, who entered the week in third place of the NSIC South Division standings, fall to 15-11, 11-10. With the tiebreaker, Augustana is now ahead of SMSU in the south division in fourth place.
A 3-point field goal by Akoi Akoi gave AU the 3-0 lead. Despite SMSU not allowing the Vikings to truly run away with the game, Augustana never lost control.  The biggest run for AU was a 7-0 run late in the opening half when Ryan Miller scored on a driving layup. That was followed by an Isaac Fink floating jumper and a Miller 3-point basket to give AU a 27-17 lead.
A few possessions later, Augustana had its largest lead of the half at 12 points on a Miller 3-point jumper as Bennett Otto found him open with 2:59 on the clock.
Augustana entered halftime holding a 34-24 lead thanks to a layup by Miller with the clock expiring.
Coming out of the break, Augustana built a lead as large as 15 points on three different occasions including a layup by Brady Helgren with 5:46 on the clock to make the score 63-48.
Although the Mustangs chipped away at the Vikings’ lead, the game was never in doubt as the final score settled at 69-61.
Miller tallied a game-high 22 points while Fink added 21 points and nine rebounds. Augustana, who shot 50 percent from the field in the second half, went 25-of-54 from the field for the game at 46.3 percent.
Augustana, who has officially secured a spot in the NSIC Tournament, now plays at Sioux Falls on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. An Augustana win, coupled with an Upper Iowa loss, would give the Vikings the No. 2 seed in the NSIC South Division and a bye into the quarterfinals.