Vikings Outlast Cougars, 70-58
USF falls to 4-3 (0-3 NSIC) and Augustana improves to 7-0 (3-0 NSIC).
USF went quiet the next five minutes, allowing the Vikings to respond. Augustana produced answered with a 11-2 run to recapture the lead, 22-19, with 6:45 left in the half.
The teams went back and forth to sit tied 28-28 at intermission.
Holland was without a doubt the Cougars first half MVP. He posted a game-high 10 points, including two 3-pointers in first half. Behind their strong guards' play, USF converted a season-high six field goals from beyond the arc before the break.
The game stayed tight in the second half.
Reminiscent of last year's game, when USF would gain momentum, Augustana's star guard would make a big basket. This year it was Cameron McCaffrey. He provided the Vikings three consecutive baskets, including a crowd-lifting 3-pointer to give his squad a 44-35 near the 13:00 mark.
McCafferey was at it again a few minutes later. He added two free throws and a crafty layup to stretch the home team's lead to 13 points with just under nine minutes to play.
The Cougars responded with an 11-2 run capped by a well-designed out of bounds play, finished by James Rader, cut USF's deficit to just five points with 6:30 to play.
Rader converted a free throw with 3:44 to play, which pulled USF within three points. That is as close as they would come, as the Vikings sank 11 consecutive free throws over the final 3:22 to pick up their seventh win of the season.
It was a 12-point decision, but the score didn't reflect how close the game just how close this game was. In its entirety, the game featured 10 lead changes and eight ties.
With both teams in the bonus for the final eight minutes of the game, each foul USF was flagged for cost them. The Vikings were able to make 11 more trips to the stripe than the Cougars.
Augustana outrebounded USF 33-26, several of which were utilize to record eight second chance points.
Cameron McCaffrey led all players with a staggering 36 points. Daniel Jansen was the only other Viking to score 10 or more. He went 5-of-7 from the field to tally 12 points.
Holland and Brown combined for 29 points, including five of the team's nine 3-pointers. Together, they also went 6-of-7 at the line. The Cougars also received a significant amount of production from their bench. USF's bench accounted for 26 points tonight.
Up next, USF hosts Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota State Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15.