Augustana University Viking Basketball Falls in Sweet 16
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Augustana men’s basketball team concluded its NSIC Championship season Tuesday night with a 70-56 loss to the defending National Champion Northwest Missouri State. The Vikings were the host of the NCAA Division II Central Regional for the third time in program history as the No. 1 seed and advanced to 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 31-5 mark.
Augustana controlled the tempo 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 basket. Tyler Riemersma, who opened the game 6-for-6 from the field, then scored on a driving layup.
The run continued with four-more straight points from Riemersma for the 19-12 score with 9:47 on the clock.
The Bearcats clawed back into the contest and knotted the game at 23-all on a Trevor Hudgins 3-point basket with 4:52 remaining in the opening half.
Northwest Missouri State then closed the half on an 11-2 run to enter intermission ahead, 34-25.
The Vikings quickly cut the deficit to three points in the opening minutes of the second half as Isaac Fink scored on a hook shot to make it a 38-35 score with 17:47 on the clock.
Augustana stayed within striking distance and trailed by a single point at 44-43 with 13:28 remaining. Dylan LeBrun sank a 3-point shot to get the raucous Pentagon crowd on its feet.
The Viking offense then stalled as NWMSU opened a 57-45 lead with 5:29 on the clock. Augustana was unable to recover from the deficit as the final score settled at 70-56.
Riemersma recorded his fifth-straight double-double, the 19th of the season, and the 45th of his Augustana career, with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Fink tallied 16 points in an All-Tournament effort along with Riemersma.
The contest concludes the careers of seven Augustana seniors: Dylan LeBrun, Tayton Vincent, Jameson Bryan, Tyler Riemersma, Zach Scholten, Eric Tiedman, and Adam Dykman.