Augustana Women Beat Concordia-St. Paul in Central Region, Play in Semifinals Saturday
Sometimes life is all about timing. Just ask the Augustana women's basketball team.
Twice during the Northern Sun Conference schedule the Vikings lost to Concordia-St. Paul, but when it mattered most, during last weekend's conference tournament, and this week's NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament, in Topeka, Kansas, Augie turned the tables on the Bears.
The sixth seeded Vikings upset number three Concordia, 78-66, Friday afternoon, thanks to a big first half turnaround, keyed by a ton of forced turnovers.
Early on, the Vikings were getting dominated on the boards by the Bears, and Concordia built a ten-point lead five minutes in, thanks, in large part, to second chance points.
But everything changed when Corcordia's Anika Whiting went to the bench with her second foul at the 12:47 mark. With the Northern Sun Conference Player of the Year out, the Vikings went to work on both end of the floor, grabbing 11 offensive rebounds, reeling off 17 straight points, while shutting the Bears out over an eight-minute stretch. When the dust settled, Augustana led 32-22, they kept that ten point advantage at the break, 36-26.
Defensively, the Vikings gave Concordia fits in the first half, turning the Bears over 15 times in 20 minutes. Shaunteva Ashley leading the charge with four first half steals.
In the second half, Concordia cut the Augie led to seven with 13:33 left, but the vikings had another run in them, 22-7 over a five minute span, ballooning their advantage to 71-49 with 5:50 left, putting the game out of reach.
The Vikings shot 48 percent from the floor, knocked down seven three-pointers, and were led in scoring by Alex Feeney's 20 points. Andrea Whitney pulled down 10 rebounds, Feeney, and Faith Tinklenberg added seven each, as the Vikings won the battle of the boards 40-25.
Augie now gets the winner of second seeded Central Missouri and seventh seeded Southwestern Oklahoma in the Central Region Semifinals, Saturday night at 5:00pm Central.