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    Augustana Men's Basketball: Vikings win second straight, defeats Dakota State

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Casey Schilling scored a career-high 24 points to go along with four six rebounds, four blocks and three assists in an 81-65 win over Dakota State on Saturday night. The Vikings shot a season-high 84 percent from the free throw line to improve to 2-2 on the season. Tonight’s game was an exhibition contest for Dakota State.

    Daniel Jansen added 20 points and nine rebounds to go with a career-high six steals, marking the second time this season Schilling and Jansen each scored 20 or more points in the same game.

    Yuriy Malashenko scored six straight points to start the second half, finishing with 11 in the game to go along with five rebounds. Ben Shellim added eight points for Augustana hitting two 3-pointers on the night.

    Dakota State shot 42 percent in the second half to finish the game 25 of 64 (39 percent) from the field. Adam Hofer led DSU with 13 points while Dylan Hale scored 11 points with five rebounds.

    The game started off with a fast pace by both teams as the Vikings took a 13-9 lead after a bucket by Malashenko with 16:24 to play in the first half. DSU took a 5-4 lead after a 3-pointer by Vinson before the Vikings went on a 9-4 run to take the four point lead.

    The Vikings shot well early in the game, hitting 60 percent of its shots through the first nine minutes of the game. Augustana gained its largest lead of the half at 24-17 after Schilling grabbed an offensive board made a basket and hit a free throw after being fouled.

    Dakota State answered by scoring five straight, including a 3-pointer by Hale but Schilling pushed it right back to seven hitting a 3-pointer and grabbing a steal and taking the ball right down the court for a fastbreak bucket to make the score 29-22.

    The two quick baskets by Schilling sparked a 13-7 Augustana run and the Vikings pushed their lead to 13 at 42-29 with 4:14 remaining in the first half. Augustana continue to shoot well in the first half taking a 46-34 lead into the locker room at the half.

    The Vikings shot 50 percent from the field hitting 15 of 30 shots from the field. Schilling led the Vikings in the half with 17 points, going 6 of 9 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free throw line. Augustana went to the free throw line 16 times in the half and hit 13 of its chances (81 percent).

    Jansen finished the first half with 11 points for Augustana on 4 of 7 shooting, hitting one 3-pointer. Jansen led the Vikings on the boards grabbing six rebounds, including three on the offensive glass. Ethan Guske pitched in with seven points for Augustana, hitting 2 of 4 from 3-point range and 1 of 3 from the free throw line.

    Augustana limited Dakota State to 37 percent (14 of 38) shooting in the first half. The Trojans were cold from the free throw line to start the night hitting just 1 of 4 in the half. DSU got seven first half points from Hofer and Hale as both were 3 of 6 from the field with one 3-pointer.

    The Vikings started off fast in the second half with Malshenko scoring the first six points of the half to push Augustana’s lead to 18 at 52-34. Four minutes later Ben Shellim hit two 3-pointers on consecutive possessions pushing the lead to 20 at 63-43.

    Dakota State would not go away quietly as it would go on an 11-3 run over the next four minutes to get within 12 at 66-54 just over the halfway point of the second half.

    Schilling stopped the run by hitting two free throws, sparking a 6-2 run for the Vikings and pushing their lead to 72-56 with 6:08 to play. DSU was able to cut the lead to 11 twice more in the final three minutes but the Vikings grabbed four offensive rebounds on its final two possessions and Jansen hit a long 3-pointer with 27 seconds to play to keep the lead at 16. 

    Turning point
    First half: Clinging to a two-point lead at 24-22 at the midway point of the first half, Schilling hit a 3-pointer in transition and followed with a steal and fastbreak bucket to give the Vikings a seven-point lead. From there, the Vikings would go on to build a 12-point lead heading into the locker room at the break. 

    Second half: From the 6:59 minute-mark of the second half, Dakota State went on a 10-3 run to make it a 12-point game with 9:38 remaining in the game before Schilling hit two free throws to stop the run. The Trojans were able to get within 11 points, its closest margin since the 16-minute mark of the first half, but the Vikings grabbed four offensive rebounds and had two made baskets in the final two minutes to seal the victory. 

    The numbers game

    • Schilling (24) and Jansen (20) have now scored 20-plus points in the same game twice this season. 
    • Augustana shot a season-high 84.2 percent (16 of 19) from the free throw line. 
    • Jansen finished the game with a career-high six steals.
    • Augustana scored a season-high 22 second-chance points. 
    • The Vikings attempted 60-plus field goals for the second straight game.
    • Schilling finished the game with a career-high 8 field goals.
    • Schilling made a career-high seven free throws.
    • Schilling matched his career-high with three assists. 
    Looking ahead
    Augustana will open Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play on Monday night heading to Wayne State to take on the Wildcats at 8 p.m. at Rice Auditorium. Augustana is 3-10 in conference openers since the 2000-01 season. The Vikings defeated Wayne State 72-66 in the conference opener in Sioux Falls last season. 

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