Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Vikings win first round of CCIW tournament against Thunder

Augustana Viking Dylan Sortillo (’18) attempts to pass the ball to his teammates at the CCIW tournament against Wheaton. Photo by Maria Do.

Number one-ranked Augustana overcame a challenging first game battle against number four-ranked Wheaton in their first game of the CCIW tournament. The Vikings won 72-64.
The Vikings held the Thunder back the majority of the game, even leading by 14 in the second half. The biggest lead the Thunder had was by three points in the first half and that lead was only kept for 29 seconds.
The 14 points lead was made when Augustana sophomore, Donovan Ferguson, scored a layup with 9:58 left in the game. However, the Thunder then went on a 9-0 run for the next three and a half minutes until Augustana senior, Dylan Sortillo, made a layup to bring the score to 60-53.
Throughout the whole game and especially the last six minutes, the toughest job for the Vikings was preventing Thunder’s lead scorer, Aston Francis, from making too many shots. Francis finished with 26 points, but he was 8-24 field goals for the game. He was also named the Fred Young Most Outstanding Player in the CCIW this week.
Francis ended the Vikings’ lead in the last three minutes of the second half by shooting a three pointer to tie the score at 62. Augustana junior, Brett Benning, was fouled with 2:35 remaining in the game and then made both free throw shots to bring the Vikings ahead again. Benning was the Vikings’ lead scorer and rebounder of the game with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
With 0:54 seconds left of the game, Wheaton’s Kobe Eichelberger shot a layup to make it a one-point game. Augustana junior, Nolan Ebel, responded with his own layup and then was fouled. Augustana’s last five points of the game to solidify their win were made from free throws.
Then, with 0:19 seconds left, it was Sortillo’s two free throw shots that allowed him to earn exactly 1,000 career points at Augustana.
The 15 combined points from the bench (Joe Kellen, 9; Lucas Simon, 3; Carson Frakes, 2; Roman Youngblut, 1) versus Wheaton’s 12 helped Augustana to stay on top throughout the game.
The Vikings will play number three-ranked North Central on Saturday, February 24 at 7 PM in the Roy J. Carver Center.
Photo above: Augustana Viking Dylan Sortillo (’18) looks to pass the ball to his teammates at the CCIW tournament against Wheaton. Photo by Maria Do.

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Vikings win first round of CCIW tournament against Thunder