Vikings’ basketball headed towards a conference title

Vikings’ basketball headed towards a conference title
Senior guard Jameson Bryan. Photo by GoAugie.

The Augustana men’s basketball team is currently sitting in first place of the NSIC, is ranked in top 10 in the nation, is on an 11-game winning streak, and is only a couple of games away from winning their first conference title since 2016.

Tyler Riemersma has led the way for the Vikings. He is currently averaging a double-double, with 18.2 points and 11 rebounds per game. Riemersma has earned NSIC South Player of the Week honors four times and is leading the conference in just about every rebounding statistic.

“The biggest thing for this year’s team and consistency is simply we are older and very experienced,” coach Tom Billeter said. “Our guys play together very well and are constantly giving positive feedback both to each other as well to us coaches. That’s when you know you have a chance to be pretty good, that kind of back and forth information is always a very positive thing.”

The Vikings’ entire starting lineup has been together on the team since 2019. Jameson Bryan, Isaac Fink, Dylan LeBrun, Adam Dykman and Riemersma have accumulated 114 of the 115 total starting spots this year.

“We have been so consistent because of our defensive intensity and the chemistry we have developed,” Riemersma said. “Our starting five has been playing together for years, and it really helps us to always be at our best.”

Riemersma said Bryan has played a huge role in the success of this team’s play.

“He sets the tone for us defensively and does a great job facilitating and getting our transition game going,” he said. “His effort gets all of us so many open looks.”

Meanwhile, the second leading scorer on the team, Fink, said that LeBrun has been a key contributor for the team.

“He is the best defender in the league and every game takes the opposing team’s best player out of rhythm,” Fink said. “He makes the game a lot easier for the rest of us with his presence on the floor.”

The team will keep things rolling in their final two regular season games before heading to the NSIC tournament. They took on crosstown rival University of Sioux Falls on Thursday night at USF before they will end the season back at the Pentagon on Saturday against the Southwest Minnesota State University Mustangs.

“How you keep things rolling is by keeping things the same as to what they are at this current part of the season,” Billeter said.  “We will keep doing what we do, play hard and we look forward to tournament time.”

The women’s team currently sits in fourth in the NSIC South, with a 12-9 total record, they have two games to end their regular season with a bid to the conference tournament already in grasp.

After an 0-5 start in the NSIC, the Vikings have been able to settle in to go 8-4 since and find their way in the middle of a chase to the postseason.

Lauren Sees leads the team with 15.6 points per game on over 40 percent shooting, and Aislinn Duffy is currently averaging a double-double with 14.7 and 11.1 rebounds per game.

Duffy leads the conference in rebounds, rebounds per game, defensive rebounds per game and double-doubles.

Their final game is against SMSU on Saturday.

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