Women’s basketball defeats USF Cougars

The Augustana women’s basketball team rallied from an early 14-point deficit to beat the University of Sioux Falls 80-74 on Saturday, Feb. 13. This win completed the weekend sweep of the Cougars (7-4, NSIC 7-4) and marked the Augustana women’s last game of the regular season. 

Improving their record to 9-4 on the season and 8-4 in conference play, the Vikings solidified their first place position in the NSIC South Division.

 The Vikings did not take the lead until late in the game, with the Cougars dominating much of the first half going on two 9-0 runs in both the first and second quarters. With 6:19 left in the second quarter, the Vikings trailed 31-17. 

 “[Sioux Falls] was more aggressive than we were in the early stages of Saturday’s game. Then we hit a few important shots and got back in it before halftime,” Dave Krauth, Augustana women’s basketball coach, said.

Senior Hannah Mitby ended the Cougars’ streak with a three-pointer at 5:22 left in the second quarter, and her basket sparked a much-needed scoring run for the Vikings. Going into the half, the Cougars led 38-33.

 The third quarter was a fairly even match-up, with the Vikings finding a way to tie the Cougars five times but never taking the lead. It was not until the fourth quarter that the Vikings took the lead, outscoring the Cougars 29-19 to solidify their win.

Senior Izzy Van Veldhuizen was critical to the Vikings’ late-game success. After making a three-pointer at 5:18 left, she garnered her fourth steal of the game against USF’s Dallie Hoskinson to put the Vikings on top 64-63 with a fast-break layup. 

 Less than a minute later, Van Veldhuizen and sophomore Lauren Sees locked in back-to-back three-pointers to put the Vikings in the lead 73-66. They never looked back.

 With a strong performance in Friday night’s win over the Cougars, Mitby tied her career-high points in a game with 23 and achieved a double-double with 10 rebounds. 

“[Mitby] was really focused throughout the weekend, and it showed,” Krauth said. “She continues to play at such a high level and serve as a positive leader.” 

Van Veldhuizen finished with five three-pointers and a total of 20 points. She also led the team with four steals. Sees had four three-pointers of her own, ending the night with 18 points.

The Cougars’ Anna Brecht, who scored 22 points in Friday’s game, ended the night with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Her teammate Hoskinson led the Cougars in points with 18.

“These two wins were huge for our standings in the [NSIC South Division] and also showed how much this team can accomplish. We also continue to see different aspects of our game that we need to work on for the games ahead,” Van Velduizen said.

Friday night’s win gave Krauth his 1,000th career victory when combining high school and collegiate wins. After the Saturday game, Krauth moved up to 1,001 cumulative and 654 collegiate victories. 

Krauth and his team are in good position as they enter the NSIC tournament. The NSIC Quarterfinals start on Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Sanford Pentagon.

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