Winona State University entered Saturday evening’s tilt with Augustana University looking for a regular season sweep of the Vikings for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as the Vikings scored 25 points off a season-high 21 Warrior turnovers to run away with a 68-51 victory.
The Warriors fall to 10-4 (6-4 NSIC) while Augie improves to 8-6 (4-6 NSIC) with a wire-to-wire road triumph.
Winona State simply dug itself into a hole in the first quarter from which the Warriors were unable to recover. Coupled with the Vikings’ full-court press that forced five early turnovers, WSU connected on just one field goal in the first frame.
The Warriors’ 51 points is their second-lowest offensive output of the season.
Winona State went just 1-for-16 from the field in the first quarter, struggling to find its rhythm against the relentless Augie zone defense. The Vikings ultimately owned a 15-3 lead after the first 10 minutes of play.
A three-pointer by Taylor Klug cut the WSU deficit to nine points with two minutes remaining in the first half, but a pair of triples of their own to take a 33-18 advantage into the locker room.
The Warriors finally found their shooting stroke in the third quarter, outscoring their entire first half total by scoring 22 points in the frame. Unfortunately, the turnovers continued as Augustana forced eight more miscues that led to 11 Vikings points.
Allie Pickrain buried a three-pointer and Taylor Hustad muscled up a tough chance in the paint midway through the frame, but the Vikings continued to respond both defensively and on the offensive side of the ball to take a 54-40 lead into the fourth frame.
The Warriors came within 13 points of the Vikings with four minutes left in the game after an Emily Kieck jumper, but that would be as close as they would get as Augustana would only allow one Warrior point for the remainder of the contest.
Hustad and Sydney Lodermeier scored 12 points apiece for Winona State in the setback. Lodermeier had a solid shooting performance (4-7) going 3-5 from downtown on an otherwise forgettable offensive night.
The Warriors resume their homestand next weekend with a Friday night affair with Minnesota Crookston at 5:30 p.m. The weekend concludes next Saturday against Bemidji State at 3:30 p.m. inside McCown Gymnasium.