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Eric Peterson, Published February 24 2012

No. 25-ranked Augustana women power past Dragons

MOORHEAD – Minnesota State Moorhead couldn’t hang with No. 25-ranked Augustana for the full 40 minutes Friday at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

The Vikings used a big scoring run early in the second half to break open a close game. Senior Molly Hayes scored a game-high 22 points to help her team pull away for a 67-57 victory in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women’s basketball.

“They’re quick and they’re really athletic,” said Dragons sophomore Megan Strese, who had a team-high 16 points and added six rebounds. “We just couldn’t match that.”

The Dragons (14-11, 11-10 NSIC) have lost two of their last three games on the heels of a seven-game winning streak.

“We had Augie in a situation where I think we could have beat them had we established ourselves on the inside,” said Dragons head coach Karla Nelson. “We couldn’t establish anything inside, and you have to give Augustana credit for that.”

The Dragons took a 34-32 lead after junior Kaycee Charette drained a jump shot in the middle of the lane with 15 minutes, 55 seconds remaining in the second half.

The Vikings countered with a game-changing run. Augustana scored 15 of the next 18 points to vault into the lead for good. Seven different Vikings scored during that stretch. Junior guard Cami Koehn capped the rally with a transition layup that staked Augustana to a 47-37 lead with 10:40 remaining. The Dragons couldn’t get closer than six points of the lead from that point.

The Vikings drained four 3-pointers in the final nine minutes to protect their lead.

“We broke down defensively and they hit a couple 3s that gave them separation that we just couldn’t get back to,” said Strese, who was 10-for-10 from the foul line.

Hayes had four assists to go along with her game-high point total.

The 5-foot-6 guard became the all-time assists leader for Augustana with her effort. Hayes finished the night with 571 assists to surpass Sandra Zwach. Zwach (1993-97) had 569 career assists.

“She does spark them,” Nelson said of Hayes. “That’s what a senior is supposed to do. I thought she did a nice job of getting to the rim.”

AUGUSTANA (20-5, 17-4 NSIC): Schulte 0-4 0-0 0, Nelson 6-16 0-0 12, Hayes 7-14 5-6 22, Tinklenberg 3-10 1-2 20, Feeney 4-12 1-1 9, Koehn 1-3 2-2 4, Ashley 3-6 0-0 6, Bose 2-3 0-0 4, Whitney 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-69 9-11 67.

MSUM (14-11, 11-10): Mayclin 2-9 0-0 4, Yernatich 3-11 3-4 11, Shepard 0-7 0-0 0, Zabel 1-3 1-1 3, Jetvig 5-14 2-2 12, Palmer 0-1 0-0 0, Kraft 0-1 0-0 0, Thomforde 0-2 0-0 0, Charette 4-9 3-3 11, Strese 3-11 10-10 16. Totals 18-68 19-20 57.

Half: AC 29, MSUM 26. 3-point goals: AC 6-18 (Schulte 0-1, Nelson 0-2, Hayes 3-6, Tinklenberg 3-5, Feeney 0-2, Koehn 0-1, Ashley 0-1), MSUM 2-14 (Mayclin 0-1, Yernatich 2-7, Jetvig 0-2, Palmer 0-1, Charette 0-3). Total fouls: AC 14, MSUM 10. Rebounds: AC 46 (Tinklenberg 11), MSUM 45 (Jetvig 11). Assists: AC 12 (Hayes 4), MSUM 4 (Jetvig 3). Steals: AC 3 (three players with 1), MSUM 8 (Yernatich 2). Turnovers: AC 13 (Hayes 5), MSUM 14 (Mayclin 5).

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com