SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AU) – For the second-straight game, the Augustana men’s basketball team was involved with a last-second shot. This time, the Vikings were on the right end of it. Jadan Graves had a floater in the lane fall with 5.4 seconds on the clock to win the game for Augustana, 99-98, in overtime over Upper Iowa.
The overtime contest created an electric atmosphere inside the Sanford Pentagon Saturday as the overtime period alone created a back-and-forth affair that was worth the price of admission.
The Peacocks (7-5, 4-2 NSIC) won the tip-off to start the overtime and took their first lead of the game on a Lucas Duax layup. Augustana answered with a Jadan Graves layup to show what was to come.
Upper Iowa sank a 3-point basket to push a 94-91 lead. The ensuing possession for AU saw Graves score again on a layup. In what was the back-and-forth of overtime, the Peacocks scored again to push a 96-93 lead.
With 90 seconds on the clock, Akoi Akoi scored on a layup to pull the Vikings (7-5, 3-3) within one point at 96-95. However, again, Upper Iowa scored on its next possession to push its three-point advantage yet again.
Ryan Miller then took the ball straight to the Vikings basket where he made a layup and Augustana head coach Tom Billeter snagged a timeout to slow Upper Iowa on the inbounds.
The ploy worked as Nick Reid missed a 3-point basket with 32 seconds remaining and the rebound was gathered by Graves. Once the ball crossed the half-court line, the Vikings took a timeout to draw up a final play.
That play was to Graves as he went one-on-one to the basket to give Augustana its first lead of the overtime period at 99-98 and send the Vikings to victory.
Akoi recorded a career-high 24 points while Isaac Fink, making a return after missing the last two games, scored a season-best 21 points. Miller chipped in 17 points with Graves adding 16 with six of them coming in the overtime period. Graves led the way with eight rebounds and seven assists for AU.
Augustana shot 54.8 percent from the field on 40-of-73 shot attempts and sank 57.1 percent of its 3-point attempts. Akoi was a perfect 3-for-3 from deep as part of his career night.
Augustana is back in action Sunday by hosting Winona State at 3:30 p.m. inside the Sanford Pentagon.