Wayne State teams fall at Augustana

Both Wayne State basketball teams traveled north to face conference rival Augustana on Tuesday, and both came home with defeats at the hands of the Vikings.

In women’s action, 18th-ranked Augustana shot 19-of-27 in the second half to pull away for a 84-59 victory over Wayne State, dropping the Wildcat women to 10-4 overall and 4-2 in NSIC play.

Neither team shot the ball well in the first quarter, but Augustana forced eight Wayne State turnovers and built a 16-8 lead. Wayne State made just 4-of-14 shots from the field while the Vikings were 6-for-18.

The Wildcats got as close as six in the second quarter at 18-12 following an Erin Norling layup at the 6:13 mark. Wayne State still trailed 22-14 with 4:31 to play in the half, but Augustana put the game out of reach with a 16-4 run to take a 36-18 lead before finishing the half with a 38-23 lead.

The host Vikings never allowed Wayne State a chance to get back into the game as Augustana made 10-of-14 shots in the third quarter to take a commanding 60-42 lead. Augustana pushed the lead to 26 at 76-50 midway through the fourth quarter and finished with the 25-point win.

Kacie O’Connor and Erin Norling paced Wayne State in scoring with 11 points apiece while freshman reserve Payton Draper added 10 points. Wayne State held a slim 35-34 edge in rebounding over the Vikings with Maggie Schulte grabbing seven boards for the Wildcats.

In the men’s game, Augustana used a 44-30 advantage in rebounding and 19-3 edge in second-chance points to defeat Wayne State 80-70, dropping the men to 8-6 overall and 3-3 in the NSIC.

The two teams traded 17 lead changes and five ties in the opening half of play. It was a close battle until a late scoring run by the host Vikings in the final two minutes of the half.

With Augustana leading 26-21 at the 6:25 mark of the first half, Wayne State went on an 11-2 run to grab their biggest lead of the game at 32-29 with 2:48 remaining in the half following a Matt Thomas layup before Augustana closed the half with nine straight points to take the lead for good at 38-32.

The Wildcats got as close as five early in the second half at 42-37, but the Vikings closed out the Wildcats with a 12-2 run to go in front 54-39 and led by as many as 20 before settling on the 10-pont win.

Kendall Jacks and Vance Janssen scored 12 points each to lead Wayne State in scoring while Jordan Cornelius also hit double digits with 10.

Augustana held a sizeable 44-30 advantage in rebounding over the Wildcats.  Austin Esters grabbed five rebounds to lead the Wildcats.

Wayne State resumes play following the holiday break on Saturday, Dec. 30, with games at University of Sioux Falls. The women play at 2 p.m., with the men to follow at 4 p.m.

The Wayne Herald

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