MARSHALL, MN (AUGIE) – The Augustana men’s basketball team held off Southwest Minnesota State, 64-60, Thursday night in Marshall, Minnesota. The win gives AU a win in its NSIC road opener as the Vikings improve to 5-3 on the season and 1-1 in the loop. The Mustangs suffer their first NSIC loss and fall to 4-2, 1-1.
Augustana had several scoring runs throughout the game including a 7-0 start to the contest. Isaac Fink sank a 3-point shot to open the game as Jadan Graves hit back-to-back shots, including one from deep, to make it 7-0 just minutes into the contest.
Another long-range shot from Graves made it 17-7 Augustana with 13:46 to go in the opening half prior to the Mustangs bouncing back. SMSU took its first lead of the game with 11:27 to go in the first half on a Jake Phipps trey.
The lead then bounced back-and-forth between the two squads until a pair of free throws from Fink gave Augustana a 35-34 lead with under a minute to go in the opening half. A layup from Ryan Miller gave the Vikings a three-point advantage heading into the intermission.
Augustana then grew its lead to eight points over the first five minutes of the second half as Akoi Akoi hit a jumper in the paint to make the score 45-37.
Although Augustana’s lead would get as low as a single digit, when times mattered most, the Vikings’ defense prevented the Mustangs from taking the lead. The final time the score was at just one point.
Graves answered with a jump shot with the shot clock sounding to push the lead back to three points with 32 seconds on the clock. A Fink free throw made the final score 64-60.
Augustana was led by Graves with 16 points while Akoi and Miller added 15 and 14 points, respectively. All three shot 50 percent or better from the field while Augustana shot 40.3 percent from the field for the game.
Fink led Augustana with 10 rebounds, his fourth double-digit rebound performance of the season and second-straight. He is easily averaging a career-best 8.8 rebounds per game. For the game, Augustana owned the rebound-margin collecting 45 rebounds compared to SMSU’s 34.
Augustana returns home to the Sanford Pentagon on Saturday to host Sioux Falls. Tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m., the second game of the doubleheader with the Viking women. Tickets can be purchased at