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Vikings Come Up Just Short In 70-65 Loss To Wildcats

Emily Schulte, Augustana Vikings
Augustana College

WAYNE, Neb. – Augustana women’s basketball couldn’t overcome foul trouble in the second half, losing 70-65 to Wayne State, snapping a two-game winning streak against the Wildcats, in both teams Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opener on Monday.  The loss dropped the Vikings to 3-1 (0-1 NSIC).  Wayne State remains unbeaten at 5-0 (1-0 NSIC).

The Vikings’ Katie Meister – recording her first collegiate double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds – best efforts still couldn’t provide enough of a lift off the bench for Augustana on Monday.

Jordan Spencer led the way for the Wildcats, getting her first double-double of the season, with a game and career-high 30 points and 10 rebounds.

Wayne State came out fast, taking a quick 11-2 run to open the game.  The Wildcats made it clear early that the game plan was to get the ball in the paint to Spencer and Millie Niggeling. The duo combined for 24 of Wayne State’s 32 first-half points.

Dealing with foul trouble early to Emily Schulte and a turnover issue, Augustana would settle down and start taking control of the game with the help of its bench.  The Vikings bench was able to score 21 points, including eight points from Meister and seven from Nicole Kerkhoff in the first half.

The Vikings would climb back into the game beginning at the 8:20 mark on a Riley Nordgaard layup, starting a 23-8 run to end the half that would give the Vikings the lead at half 34-32.

Augustana started the half cold, but caught fire in the final ten minutes, finishing 15 for 31 (48.1%) from the field for the half.

The second half got interesting quick, with the Wildcats’ Spencer getting called for a technical foul just 76 seconds into the half.  Nordgaard would convert both free throws for the Vikings.

Wayne State would make a fast 7-0 run to take the lead at 39-38 off Ashton Yossi converting the free throw on a traditional three-point play.

Both teams would go back and forth trading the lead in the half, with neither team being able to get up by more than six.  The final 20 minutes of the game saw 13 lead changes between the two teams.

The Wildcats would get Augustana into foul trouble early in second half, getting into the bonus just five minutes into the half.  Wayne State outshot the Vikings 21 to 9 in the second half.

The turning point came with 25 seconds remaining in the game, when Niggeling scored a putback jumper off a missed layup by Spencer, giving the Wildcats a 68-65 lead.

The Vikings would get one last chance at tying the game.  With 12 seconds remaining, Schulte launched a deep three pointer that came up just short.  Wayne State grabbed the rebound and Addy Roller made both free throws, securing the win at 70-65.

The Vikings look to bounce back this Saturday, taking on Midland at 2 p.m. at the Elmen Center.

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Courtesy:  Augustana College

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