Men's Basketball's season ends with loss to St. Thomas

After a tough start, the Vikings weren’t able to stop the St. Thomas Tommies, losing the game 76-87 and ending their season.
The Vikings were able to take an early lead, starting the first seven minutes with a 13-11 point lead.
The tide soon began to turn as St. Thomas’ no. 33, Jimmy Remke, made two three-point shots. St. Thomas kept their rally going, while the Vikings struggled to hit any field goals.
With nine minutes left in the first, the Vikings trailed 13-24.
Senior Griffin Pils then came and hit a much needed three-point shot and gave the Vikings some momentum.
At the conclusion of the first half, the Vikings were leading 39-35.
However, at the start of the second, senior Hunter Hill started the half with a short jumper and ignited the crowd.
The teams battled back and forth, answering three-point shots and short jumpers alike.
Again, the tide began to turn as the Vikings missed several shots, while St. Thomas’s no. 33 and no. 3, Cortez Tillman, were able to lead the Tommies to a double digit lead.
Although the second half looked bleak, Hill said that they never gave up.
“We kept grinding and fighting every possession,” Hill said.
Hill rallied, hitting three three-point shots in a row in two minutes and bringing the Tommies within six points with 4:56 left in the second.
One huge detriment to the Vikings’ performance was the foul trouble that they found themselves in the second period.
Head Coach Grey Giovanine acknowledged how key the Tommies free throw points were.
“They shot 20 more free throws than we did, and they made 26 out of 34,” Giovanine said. “So the difference in this game was that they got to the free throw line 20 more times than we did.”
Other factors that hurt the Vikings were missed shots, hitting only 29 of 65 shots in the game.
“A lot of those shots were shots that we usually hit,” Pils said.
Although the game ended in a loss, Giovanine kept the achievements that this team had made this year at the forefront of his mind.
“It (the loss) certainly doesn’t diminish the remarkable run by a group of seniors that will measure up as some of the best in the history of the program,” Giovanine said. “We had a tough road to get to the final four and this is one of the three-four best teams in the country. So it doesn’t diminish what was a record-setting season.”
Hill said he wanted to thank the Quad Cities and the Augustana community for the support in the game and throughout the season.
“The biggest thing is thanks for the support,” Hill said. “It makes this environment so special and an unbelievable experience.”