Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana men’s basketball beats Elmhurst 87-76

Sophomore Nolan Ebel (14) attempts an attack against Elmhurst during the first half of the game. Photo by Janie Le.

For the second time in ten days, the Augustana men’s basketball team took on the Elmhurst Bluejays and won 87-76 to bring their overall record to 15-3 and their CCIW record to 8-1.
The Vikings knew going into the game that they would have to improve on the defensive end if they wanted to dominate the rival Bluejays.
Augustana did just that by winning both the turnover and rebound battle. The Vikings also capitalized on the Blue Jay’s sloppy play. Augustana got to the free-throw line early and often, capitalizing on the efforts by making 19 of 23 free throws.
Sophomore Pierson Wofford said the Vikings revised some of their efforts from their last time playing the Bluejays.
“We talked about being the more physical team here tonight, last game they were more physical. Tonight, we didn’t get pushed off of screens and we won the rebounding battle,” said Wofford said.
Sophomore Chrishawn Orange led Augustana with 16 points, but was closely followed by fellow sophmore Nolan Ebel and senior Jacob Johnston who each had 15 points. Off the bench, the Vikings were given a spark byWofford, who contributed 16 points
Wofford has gotten used to his role as the sixth man off the bench.
“That’s what my job is and I kind of like it now. Everybody gets a little tired and I can come in the game and provide my team with that energy,” said Pierson.
The 16th ranked Vikings were in a tight game until Jacob Johnston slammed in a rebound to give the Vikings a nine point lead with just 1:18 left to go in the first half.
However, the Blue Jays answered with a Half court buzzer beater to end the first half with a score of 40-35 Vikings.
Coming out of halftime, the Vikings went out to a 14 point lead after going on a 12-3 run in the first four minutes of the second half.
“We knew coming out of halftime we were going to have to get defensive stops. We aren’t trying to outscore anybody we are just trying to lock people up. We know if we can lock them up the points will come in transition,” said Wofford.
The Blue Jays hung around cutting the lead down to six points with 13 minutes left in the half.
The game remained close until Martin Micah’s two handed slam on an offensive rebound gave the Vikings a 12 point lead with 8:16 remaining in the half. 66-54
After that, the Vikings never looked back closing out the game and not allowing the visiting Blue Jays to come within nine points.
A big differencethat allowed Augustana to close out the game was the emphasis on stopping the Elmurst three point shooters.
“The first half they made seven threes compared to two in the second half. We did a much better job defending the perimeter in the second half,” said head coach Grey Giovanine.
The Vikings had their biggest lead of the night when Orange hit a corner three to extend their lead to 15 with just 56 seconds to play.
Orange, who scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, accredited the team’s ability to have many weapons as being essential to closing out the game.
“All of us can step up and make big plays at different times, and tonight I just happened to be the one to take the shots,” said Orange.
The Vikings next game will be against Carthage College in Kenosha Wisconsin on Saturday.

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Augustana men’s basketball beats Elmhurst 87-76