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Strong Second Half Lifts Augustana Over Wayne State

Daniel Jansen, Augustana Vikings vs Wayne State
Gene Smith/Augustana College

SIOUX FALLS, SD — Augustana used an 11-2 run over the first three minutes of the second half on its way to a 77-55 win over Wayne State on Saturday heading into the holiday break. The Vikings (7-5, 4-2 NSIC) shot 56 percent from the field in the second half to overcome poor shooting in the first. The Wildcats (4-6, 1-5 NSIC) led by eight at halftime.

Daniel Jansen and Casey Schilling each recorded a double-double for Augustana. Jansen led all players with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Schilling picked up his fourth straight double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Evan Pierce matched his career-high with 11 points, going 2 of 2 from the field with a 3-pointer and 6 of 7 from the free throw line.

The Vikings hit three of its first five field goal attempts to start the second half, including 3-pointers by Schilling and Jansen to spark the early run. Five minutes into the second half, a bucket by Yuriy Malashenko gave Augustana its first lead of the night at 36-35. Malashenko finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

“That was not us in the first half,” Vikings coach Tom Billeter said. “We weren’t getting loose balls and doing the things you need to do to win games, and we shot too many 3-pointers.”

Augustana and Wayne State both had 19 rebounds in the first half, but the Vikings finished the game with 42 rebounds, marking the fifth time this season Augustana has had more than 40 rebounds in a game, and the eighth time out-rebounding its opponent.

“It was a point of emphasis for us in the second half to take the ball to the rim, get to the paint, and get to the free throw line,” Billeter said.

Augustana started off sluggish in the first half, missing its first nine shots of the game, allowing Wayne State to grab a 9-1 lead six minutes into the game. Ben Shellim started a 5-0 run for the Vikings converting a 3-point-play getting the Vikings within three at 9-6.

Ty Bauschek heated up for Wayne State over the next six minutes making 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to give his team a 25-11 lead at the tail end of a 16-5 run. Schilling and Jansen helped the Vikings eat away at the WSC lead, combining for 10 points in the last five minutes of the half to bring Augustana within eight at the half.

Wayne State had three players in double-digits in the game, with Bauschek, Adol Aluong and Patrick Kurth each finishing with 10 points.

The Vikings finished the half shooting just 31 percent from the field, hitting 9 of 29 from the field but was unable to connect on six 3-point field goal attempts. Wayne State pressured the Vikings throughout the first half, forcing the Vikings to take shots from the perimeter.

Wayne State attacked the basket early in the game, scoring 18 points in the paint while shooting 42 percent from the field.

After grabbing its first lead of the night five minutes into the second half, the Vikings were only able to pull ahead by four points until Wayne State tied the game at 43 with 11:03 remaining in the game. The Vikings would not let Wayne State take a lead as they were able to build a 10-point lead at 61-51 after five straight points from Jansen.

Jansen’s three straight buckets helped start a 22-4 Augustana run over the final five minutes of the game to seal the victory over the Wildcats. Augustana is now 10-3 all-time against Wayne State at home, and has won four straight games over the Wildcats at the Elmen Center.

Augustana will have a week off for holiday break. The Vikings return to action Jan. 3-4 tripping to North Dakota to take on the University of Mary at 8 p.m. on Friday and Minot State at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

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Courtesy:  Augustana College

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