The Vikings women’s basketball team’s season ended with a first-round exit from the NCAA Division II Tournament, losing 75-74 to Missouri Southern.
Second-chance points and rebounds made the difference in this game. The Vikings were out rebounded by the Lions, who had 44 rebounds to the Vikings’ 34. Augustana also gave up 17 second-chance points while only scoring five themselves.
Augustana opened the game with a 5-0 run, but the Lions kept it close throughout the first quarter. The Vikings were firing on all cylinders in the first quarter, shooting 7-for-16 from the field. The Lions, however, tied the game 18-18 after the first quarter.
Augustana stayed hot going into the second quarter shooting 45% from the field. Meanwhile, the Vikings’ defense held the lions to just 35% from the field and 1-for-6 from behind the arc. Going into halftime, the Vikings led 40-37.
The Vikings remained in the driver’s seat coming out of the half. The Vikings offense was electric, scoring 19 points while going 7-for-15 from the field. Augustana’s defense was even better, forcing 5 turnovers while holding the Lions to just 13 points in the third quarter.
Going into the fourth quarter, Augustana led 59-50. The Vikings were up by as much as 12 points in the final quarter. The Lions kept chipping away at the deficit and with just over six minutes left in the game, they cut the Vikings’ lead to 6.
The rest of the Vikings lead slowly disappeared, and with 29 seconds, the Lions took the lead 73-72. Senior forward Aislinn Duffy recaptured the Vikings lead with a layup to make the score 74-73.
With just five seconds remaining, a foul sent Missouri Southern to the free-throw line. The Lions’ Kaitlin Hunnicutt made both free throws and brought the score to 75-74. The Vikings had a chance late but turned the ball over on their final possession.
The Vikings were led in scoring by senior guard and forward Michaela Jewett, who scored 27 points while going 11-for-16 from the field. She was followed by Duffy, who scored 22 points.
“This last year and this group has just been so special,” Duffy said. “I’ve grown to love our team and coaches.”
The Vikings ended their season with a 25-6 record, and head coach Dave Krauth ended his career with a record of 695-302.