SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) — The Augustana men’s basketball team wrapped up their NSIC championship season Tuesday night with a 70-56 loss to defending Northwestern National Champion State of Missouri. The Vikings hosted the NCAA Division II Central Division for the third time in program history as the No. 1 seed and qualified for the Sweet 16 inside the Sanford Pentagon.
Augustana’s season ends at 26-4, the third most wins in program history. Northwest Missouri State advances to the Elite Eight with its mark of 31-5.
Augustana controlled the pace early and built a seven-point advantage with a 19-12 lead. It was nine straight points for AU as Bennett Otto opened the run with a 3-point field goal. Tyler Riemersma, who opened the game 6v6 from the field, then scored on a layup at the wheel.
The run continued with four more straight points from Riemersma to make it 19-12 with 9:47 on the clock.
The Bearcats salvaged the game and tied the game at 23 points on a Trevor Hudgins 3-point field goal with 4:52 left in the first half.
Northwest Missouri State then closed the half on an 11-2 run to enter intermission ahead, 34-25.
The Vikings quickly reduced the deficit to three points in the opening minutes of the second half as Isaac Fink scored on a hook to make it 38-35 with 17:47 on the clock.
Augustana stayed within striking distance and trailed by just one point at 44-43 with 13:28 to go. Dylan LeBrun hit a 3-point shot to get the boisterous Pentagon crowd back on their feet.
The Viking offense then stalled as NWMSU opened up a 57-45 lead with 5:29 on the clock. Augustana couldn’t recover from the deficit as the final score stood at 70-56.
Riemersma recorded his fifth straight double-double, 19th of the season and 45th of his Augustana career, with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Fink had 16 points in an all-tournament effort with Riemersma.
The competition concludes the careers of seven Augustana seniors: Dylan LeBrun, Tayton Vincent, Jameson Bryan, Tyler Riemersma, Zach Scholten, Eric Tiedman and Adam Dykman.
Game recap courtesy of Augustana Athletics
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