Vikings win NSIC South title with 93-42 win over Upper Iowa
Saturday was a night of firsts for the Augustana women’s basketball team.
First time clinching the NSIC South Division title. First seed in the conference tournament. First games of postseason play hosted at home.
With a resounding 93-42 win over Upper Iowa at the Sioux Falls Arena, the 22-7 Vikings (17-5 NSIC) are now hoping to add more firsts to the list.
The Vikings had a balanced attack, powered by senior guard Sydney Rome, who finished with a team-high 16 points. But three-point shooting was what set the women apart, as they dominated from outside.
“It’s a nice game to win going into the conference tournament,” coach Dave Krauth said. “Our big goal was to be at home.”
Though the last regular season home game regular season started out slow for the Vikings, with nearly two minutes passing without a basket on either side, once Rome got the Vikings started with a 2-point jumper there was no stopping them or her.
“Prior to this game we did not shoot well,” Krauth said. “We won with our defense. We did the same thing here, started with defense, but once we got in a flow, shots just started to fall.”
Augustana made 17 3-pointers on the night with four players scoring in the double-digits. The Vikings made it look easy, while the Peacocks continued to falter.
After an 11-0 run put the Vikings ahead 13-2 in the first quarter, Upper Iowa finally scored two more points. The Vikings answered with an additional 11 baskets to take them into the second quarter leading 24-4.
Sophomores Lynsey Prosser at guard and center Shelby Selland followed Rome’s lead, scoring 15 and 12 points, respectively, along with junior guard Allie Koehn who added another dozen.
“Tonight was fun because not only I had a good game, but the whole team had a good game,” Rome said. “I couldn’t ask for a better night.”
The second half was much of the same.
Rome hit another effortless 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer to increase the Peacocks’ deficit to 50. And in the remaining minutes, the 93-42 final score was well on its way to becoming reality.
“It was a great team win with a lot of energy,” Selland said. “We moved the ball well, and I hope we’re able to get the ball moved around like this in the postseason.”
“It’s a nice thing we didn’t know would happen,” Krauth said. “We’re so bunched up in the South with the top five other teams, but we finally put together some important wins.”
The No. 1 seed in the South Division, the Vikings trounsed the North Division No. 8 seed Minot State Beavers 70-61 (2-20, 4-24 NSIC) Wednesday at the Sanford Pentagon.
They advanced to play Winona State at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pentagon.