SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Wayne State battled 18th ranked and defending national champion Augustana into overtime but went 0-for-6 from the field in the extra period as the host Vikings rallied for a 94-87 Monday evening in the Northern Sun Conference opener for both teams at the Sioux Falls Arena.
The Wildcats started quickly, taking an 8-3 lead on the Vikings. Augustana went on a 13-3 run and took the lead from Wayne State at 16-11, then pushed their lead to double digits at 11 at 30-19 with 9:54 to go in the half following a John Warren 3-pointer.
Wayne State responded with nine of the next 10 points, highlighted by five points from redshirt freshman Luke TerHark that ended with a 3-pointer, pulling the Wildcats within one at 40-39 with 2:32 left in the half. Augustana finished the half strong and held a 48-44 lead at intermission.
The start of the second half was a string of runs by both teams. Wayne State opened the half with the first eight points for a 52-48 lead. After Wayne State took a 59-51 lead on a Ben Hoskins 3-pointer, Augustana scored eight points in just 90 seconds to even the score at 59-59.
With the score tied at 64-64, Wayne State went on a 13-4 run and took their biggest lead of the game at 77-68 on a Matt Thomas 3-pointer with 5:27 remaining. Augustana charged back and got within three at 79-76 on a Levi Jansen trey with 4:05 to play.
Wayne State maintained a lead until the final minute of regulation. The Wildcats still led 86-81 with 1:36 remaining following an Austin Esters layup. The Vikings, however, chipped away at the lead and tied the score at 86-86 on a Steven Schaefer three-point play with 54 seconds to play. The Wildcats missed a pair of shots in the final minute while Augustana missed one for a chance to win the game, sending the contest into overtime.
Nearly two minutes went by until the first team scored in overtime as Augustana’s Adam Beyer scored a basket at the 3:02 mark of overtime to give the Vikings their first lead at 88-86.
Wayne State’s first points of the overtime came with 2:46 left in extra time when Kendall Jacks made one of two free throws to get the Wildcats within two at 89-87. But that would be the lone point for the Wildcats in overtime as Augustana made free throws down the stretch for the 94-87 overtime win.
Jordan Cornelius paced Wayne State in scoring with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Kendall Jacks (15), Matt Thomas (11) and Luke TerHark (10) also hit double digits for the Wildcats.
The Vikings won the rebounding battle over Wayne State 38-27 with Beyer grabbing seven for Augustana while Jacks and Brian Goodwin each hauled in six boards for the Wildcats.
Wayne State (1-2, 0-1 NSIC) will be on the road over Thanksgiving weekend, traveling to Canyon, Texas for the Pak A Sak Classic hosted by West Texas A&M. The Wildcats face host West Texas A&M Friday at 2:30 p.m. followed by a Saturday 12 p.m. contest against Eastern New Mexico.