WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Ashley lifts Augie against Mustangs

MARSHALL – Shaunteva Ashley’s game-high 21 points lifted No. 10 Augustana College to an 81-60 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory over Southwest Minnesota State at the R/A Facility on Friday night. It was Ashley’s third 20-point game in her career.

SMSU (2-4, 0-2 NSIC) hung with the fast-paced offensive attack of the Vikings – holding a 22-17 lead with 7:28 remaining in the first half, but the Mustangs couldn’t keep pace as they fell for the fourth straight game. The Vikings would close out the first half with a 20-6 run to erase SMSU’s five-point and take a nine point lead into the half. Augustana scored 44 points in the second half and never looked back as the Vikings finished the game with a season-high 47.7 shooting percentage from the floor (31 of 65).

Bree Holleman stroked home two 3-point field goals in the first half for her 117th and 118th career 3-point field goal made to tie Megan Wittkop’s mark for sixth place in the all-time SMSU record books.

Alison Nagel led SMSU with 17 points – she has now led SMSU in scoring in four of six games and has recorded double-digit scoring in every game this season. Nagel was 16 of 16 from the free throw line coming into the game and missed her first free throw shot of the season on her only attempt in the game. Holleman (16) and Rebekah Rolling (11) also reached double-digit scoring in the game for SMSU.

SMSU finished the game shooting just 20 of 59 – 33.9 percent.

SMSU, which came into the game with the NCAA’s fifth lowest turnover per game average, coughed up the ball a season-high 21 times and Augustana took advantage as the Vikings converted 28 points off turnovers.

SMSU will welcome another NCAA top 25 ranked team into the R/A Facility tomorrow night in Wayne State (Neb.). Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.