The Elmen Center roared on Saturday night as the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) season started for the Augustana women’s and men’s basketball teams.
The No. 10 ranked Vikings defeated the No. 9 ranked Wildcat women, 82-56, to open the doubleheader and conference play.
Senior Alex Feeney led Augustana with 19 points, dished out six assists and hauled in 11 boards (six offensive) for the double-double. Feeney has started every game since the season opener of her redshirt freshman year.
Senior Faith Tinklenberg put together a solid 16-point, 7-rebound performance. She helped right out of the gates, knocking down 4-5 field goals including 2-2 from outside the arc on her way to 11 first-half points.
“We wanted to wear them down right away,” Tinklenberg said. “We ended our season [with] a loss to [Wayne State] so I didn’t want to start it that way.”
Another senior, Lydia Nelson, added double-digits with 14 points, despite playing only 16 minutes. She led the team in points scored per minute on the floor, but racked up four personal fouls.
Junior Emily Schulte scored 11 points including 6-6 from the free throw line.
One player that made an impact without filling out the stat line was sophomore guard Shaunteva Ashley. The Sioux Falls Roosevelt-grad scored six points and grabbed three rebounds. More importantly, however, was her team-leading 33 minutes of play and smart, heads-up decision making. She called for a possession-saving timeout and made three of her four free throws.
Augustana was able to dominate the inside game, outscoring Wayne State 40-22 in the paint and getting 19 second-chance points to the Wildcats’ two. The Vikings tallied 15 on turnovers to the Wildcat’s two.
“Those second chance baskets were big and hitting some shots early gave us some momentum,” head coach Dave Krauth said after the conference win.
Over two-thirds of the Augie scoring came from seniors.
“Each team is different, but the veterans are giving us good leadership,” Krauth said.
Wayne State was led by Ellen Hansen with 14 points (3-3 from 3-point) and 11 rebounds. Jordan Spencer knocked down 11 points. Whitney Epp recorded six blocks, however she ran into foul trouble.
Augustana remains undefeated at 5-0 (1-0, NSIC).
Wayne State took their first loss and moves to 3-1 (0-1, NSIC).
Augustana will continue conference play against Southwest Minnesota State (1-5, 0-1) tonight at 6 p.m. in the Elmen Center. The women will face USF (4-1, 1-0) at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 in the Elmen Center.