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Vikings’ Second-Half Rally Comes Up Short Against Bulldogs

Shaunteva Ashley, Augustana Vikings
Gene Smith/Augustana College

DULUTH, MN — Augustana couldn’t overcome a slow first half on Friday night, losing 84-70 to Minnesota Duluth in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action.  The Vikings dropped to 11-8 (7-8 NSIC) on the year.  The Bulldogs improved to 10-9 (7-8 NSIC) with the victory.

Augustana continued to struggle with its first-half shooting in road games this season, scoring just 33 points on 10-of-32 shooting (31.3 percent) in the first half to trail by 20 at halftime to Minnesota Duluth, whose 53 points were a season high for them for points scored in a half this year.

The Vikings had four players score in double figures in the game, with Shaunteva Ashley leading the group with 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting.  Emily Schulte (14), Riley Nordgaard (12) and Rhianna Gullickson (12) were the other members in double figures for Augustana.

Nordgaard notched her second double-double this year by pulling down 10 rebounds to go along with her 12 points.

The Bulldogs’ Katrina Newman finished with a game-high 23 points in the contest.  Newman also had six rebounds in the win for UMD.  Hannah Rutten recorded a double-double down low with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

The Bulldogs’ bench played a big factor, outscoring the Vikings 25-10 and provided key baskets throughout the game.

Minnesota Duluth came out strong early, taking a 15-11 lead into the first media timeout at 14:11.  Newman scored four quick points for the Bulldogs in the early going.

UMD used a 10-2 run coming out of the media timeout to push its lead to double figures at 25-15 with 9:43 left in the first half.  Minnesota Duluth connected on 10 of its first 18 shots in the game (55.5 percent) while Augustana came out shooting 6 of 19 (31.9 percent), an unfortunate trend that would continue the rest of the half.

The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 17 at 40-23 at the 4:43 mark in the first half.  Taylor Meyer provided a spark off the bench for UMD, scoring 13 of her 17 points in the first half.

Another basket by Meyer at the end of regulation gave the Bulldogs a 53-33 lead at the break.  Meyer’s basket was part of a 13-8 run to close out the half.

Katrina Newman led all scorers with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting (66.6 percent) in the first half.

Schulte found her way to eight points in the first 20 minutes of action for the Vikings, while Nordgaard had six points and five rebounds.

Minnesota Duluth did a lot of its damage from beyond the arc in the first half, going 6 of 12 from three.  The Bulldogs’ bench also gave them very productive minutes, scoring 18 points in the half.

Augustana just couldn’t find its shot in the first half, shooting just 31.3 percent (10 of 32).

In the second half the Vikings came out with flurry, going on a quick 12-3 run in just under four minutes to trail 56-45 early in the half.  Schulte and Ashley each scored four points for Augustana during the run.

A Katie Meister three cut the UMD lead to eight at 60-52 with 11:14 remaining.  The Vikings defense came to life and swarmed Minnesota Duluth, causing them trouble moving the ball and forcing 11 turnovers in the second half.

The Bulldogs finally adjusted and answered with a 10-5 run to push their lead back up to 13 at 70-57.  Rutten highlighted the run with five points during the stretch.

Augustana fought its way back into the game with a late 7-0 run to cut the UMD lead to six at 72-66 after a great drive and dish by Ashley to Gullickson for a wide-open layup.  It was the closest the Vikings would get the rest of the way.

Minnesota Duluth was able to seize control of the game after that, securing the win with a 12-4 run from there, winning 84-70.  The Bulldogs were able to hit key free throws after Augustana was forced to play the foul game to extend play.

A tale of two halves
The Vikings surrendered 53 points in the first half on 20-of-38 shooting (52.6 percent) to the Bulldogs.  The second half saw Augustana put the clamps on UMD’s offense and held them to just 31 points and 33.3 percent shooting (8 of 24) using a physical, swarming defense that threw off the Bulldogs for a good portion of the second half.

Augustana travels to St. Cloud State to take on the Huskies (12-7, 8-7 NSIC) on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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Courtesy:  Augustana College

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