Basketball at Augustana scores high throughout season

Molly Sweeney

The men’s and women’s basketball teams at Augustana have finished their seasons, with records broken on both sides.

For the first time in the program’s history, Augie women’s basketball competed in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) basketball tournament.

The No. 3 seeded team played a close game against the No. 1 seeded Milikin, but the Vikings were eventually defeated 57-52.

Junior Linnea Johansen is a forward on Augustana’s team.

“I was getting really nervous because it was a five point game for those last five minutes,” Johansen said. “It was such
a battle and the last two times that we played them was like a 20-point difference. I know we put everything on the floor because obviously we didn’t want our season to end and we wanted to get that ring.”

Next season, Johansen hopes that the team can find its way back to the tournament and finish what they started this year.

“I think we’ll have a good shot at getting back to where we were this year. We have all the pieces put in place, and I’m sure that we’ll get a good incoming class,” Johansen said.

Although on the women’s side the team qualified for the final game for the first time, the men’s team faced a tough loss, ending their season and keeping them from the CCIW tournament for the first time in 21 years.

In the qualifying game for the tournament, Augustana succumbed to North Park 73-65. However, senior Dan Carr’s last game as a Viking was still one to remember. During this game, Carr became the 30th men’s basketball player at Augustana College to score 1,000 points in the team’s history.

“Going into the game I knew I only had four points left. So I kept that in the back of my head that there wasn’t many to go, and it’s definitely a very surreal feeling,” Carr said. “It was something that I didn’t expect to happen coming in here, and it was a great way to finish out the season and finish up my career here.”

Carr’s sophomore and junior year, he made all-CCIW first team. To qualify for the first team, a player has to be playing in the tournament.

This year Carr was named second team all-CCIW, something that is harder to do without playing in the tournament.

Currently, Carr is looking to play a fifth year somewhere else while he works to get a master’s degree in accounting or his MBA in Business Administration.

“I want to find a school I can hopefully get paid for, whether it’d be a DII or DI school and just continue to grow my education but also use the year of eligibility from COVID that we got to play for another season, and then see what happens from there,” Carr said.

This season, Tom Jessee, men’s head basketball coach, says the team struggled with consistency but is looking to bring the energy back next season.

“We are always out there trying to recruit the best players we can. That never stops and the real positive thing from this season, we played a lot of younger players, and we’re only losing two seniors. So everybody else is back with another year of experience,” Jessee said.

While the men’s side had a tough loss, they are looking forward to coming back next year and making it to the CCIW tournament once again.

Similarly, the women’s team hopes to find itself competing in the tournament once again next year.

“For the team I think, honestly now that we’ve proven to ourselves that we are good enough to get to this point, there’s really nothing standing in our way. I want to beat a ranked opponent. That’s one of my big goals for next year,” Johansen said.