Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Ebel and Johnston hit crucial shots, gives Vikings first CCIW win

Sophomore Crishawn puts up a shot in the Vikings’ game against Wheaton. The VIkings won 73-71 and are 1-1 in the CCIW. Photo by Tawanda Mberikwazvo

Despite the constant battle between the two teams throughout the Vikings’ CCIW game against the Wheaton College Thunder, the Vikings won their first conference game of the season 73-71 at the Roy J. Carver Center tonight.
Although the Vikings only scored three 3-pointers in the game, it was their third three point shot made by senior Jacob Johnston in the last minute of the game that was the most crucial.
Johnston’s three point shot tied the Vikings up with the Thunder 71-71 with under a minute to go.
The Thunder missed their next shot, giving the Vikings the ball with less than 30 seconds of the game. Augustana then called a timeout.
After the timeout, sophomore Nolan Ebel got ahold of the ball and shot a jumper to put the Vikings up 73-71 with three seconds to go. The Thunder rushed down the court but were unable to score, resulting in a Viking victory.
“It’s a huge confidence builder, especially heading into conference play, which is when it will really get tough,” Ebel said.
These last two plays were exactly what head coach Grey Giovanine and the team wanted. The win was a major confidence booster for the team for their upcoming conference games.
“We’ll have a lot of enthusiasm and energy [going into the Carthage game],” Giovanine said.
Despite the win, the Vikings got off to a rough start as the Thunder led the beginning of the game 8-0.
The Vikings got their first lead nine minutes into the first period with the game closely scored at 20-19.
About halfway through the first period, the Thunder landed themselves in foul trouble giving the Vikings an advantage. The 10 points the Vikings scored in the first period off of free throws helped them take the lead at the half 37-34.
“There were a lot of ups and downs,” Giovanine said. “The first half, we attacked the basket really well, got them inside and drew fouls.”
The lead was short lived at the beginning of the second half as the Thunder quickly scored a 3-pointer that tied the game.
However, the Vikings then had a run of 9-2 for two minutes, getting them back on top of the scoreboard as they led 48-39.
Sophomore Pierson Wofford, coming back from injury, gave the Vikings the biggest lead of the game at 50-41 five minutes into the half. Giovanine said this was Wofford’s “best game of the year.” He led the team with 17 points.
After this lead, the score continued to go back and forth all the way up until the end of the game.
Johnston said the win was huge for the Vikings.
“After coming off the bad loss we had against North Park, we needed something to get us back on track,” Johnston said.
The Vikings are currently 1-1 in conference play. Their next game is against Carthage College at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Roy J. Carver Center.

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Ebel and Johnston hit crucial shots, gives Vikings first CCIW win