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Late Surge Not Enough As Vikings Lose To No. 22 Mavericks

Emily Schulte, Augustana Vikings
Gene Smith/Augustana College

MANKATO, MN — Augustana couldn’t overcome a rough first half with a late flurry of points in the final 10 minutes, losing 82-64 to No. 22 Minnesota State on Friday night in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.  The loss dropped the Vikings to 10-5 (6-5 NSIC).  The Mavericks improved their record to 11-4 (8-3 NSIC).

Emily Schulte led the way for the Vikings with a game-high 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting, which included going 4 of 8 from three.  The Sioux Falls, S.D. native also grabbed five rebounds and had six steals in the loss.  Junior Rhianna Gullickson recorded her second double-double of the year with 12 points and a career-high 11 boards.  Shaunteva Ashley also chipped in with 16 points.

MSU’s Ali Wilkinson did her damage inside, notching her 32nd career double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.  Aubrey Davis and Lexie Ulfers each also finished with 15 points for the Mavericks, who pushed their home winning streak to 24 with the victory.

The Mavericks came out fast against the Vikings, taking a 9-0 lead before Augustana got on the scoreboard with a pair of Riley Nordgaard free throws.

The Vikings shooting took a few minutes to find, as they missed their first five shots before Schulte connected on a jumper at the 16:02 mark, cutting the Minnesota State lead to 9-4.

The Mavericks proceeded to go on a 15-2 run after that, increasing its lead to 24-6 with 10:38 remaining in the first half.  The run was a result of some tough defense that forced Augustana into going 2 of 15 (13.3 percent) from the field to start the game.

A made jumper by Ashley would spark a 10-2 Vikings’ run that cut the Minnesota State lead to 17 at 34-17.  Schulte and Sydney Rome each would connect from beyond the arc during the run.

The Mavericks would outscore Augustana 14-7 the rest of the half, taking a 48-24 lead into the break.

MSU’s Jamie Bresnahan and Davis just couldn’t be contained in the first half, combining for 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting (66.6 percent).

The Vikings couldn’t find their shot in the first half, shooting just 28.1 percent (9 of 32) compared to Minnesota State’s 44.2 percent (19 of 43) in the first 20 minutes of play.

The Mavericks used their size to their advantage, out-rebounding Augustana 33 to 18.  MSU also was able to get into the paint and score, holding a 20-2 lead in points in the paint in the first half.

In the second half the Vikings continued to struggle finding their shot, and trailed 57-30 heading into the first media timeout.

Minnesota State used a 9-2 run coming out the media timeout to push its lead to 34 – its largest lead – at 66-32 with 12:18 remaining in the game after two made free throws by Sammi Delzotto.

The Vikings, showing no signs of quit in them, started to get things going with a 15-4 run midway through the second half to cut the Maverick lead to 23 at 70-47 after a pair of made free throws by Ashley.

Gullickson finally got going on the offensive end after that, scoring six-straight points for Augustana which brought the Vikings to within 21 at 74-53.

Augustana’s offense would come to life midway through the second half, getting the lead down to 14 with just under two minutes to play, but it wouldn’t be enough as Minnesota State would go on to win 82-64, splitting the season series at 1-1.

The Vikings finished the game shooting just 30.1 percent (22 of 73), their second-lowest percentage of the season.

Minnesota State’s size proved to be an issue early an often, resulting in the Mavericks outscoring Augustana in the paint 36 to 18.  MSU’s 56 rebounds were the most giving up to an opponent this year by the Vikings.

Augustana outscored the Mavericks 26-14 in the final 10 minutes of the contest, but the damage was already done by that point.

Augustana looks to avenge a Dec. 13 loss against Concordia-St. Paul (12-6, 7-4 NSIC) on Saturday in St. Paul, Minn.  Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.

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Courtesy:  Augustana College

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