Coming off of a dominant win Friday evening, the Missouri Western State University women’s basketball team fell short against Augustana University, 86-77 on Saturday. Plagued by rebounding errors and difficulty shooting inside the paint, the team couldn’t find their stride and faltered in the final minutes.
After winning big against University of Sioux Falls, the team struggled in day two in South Dakota against the Vikings. Coming into the game 1-0, the Vikings previously beat fellow MIAA conference team and the preseason No. 3 team in the country, Fort Hays State, 62-59.
When asked about the game, Head Coach Candi Whitaker singled out one main issue that the Griffons couldn’t overcome.
“Where we did not play well was the toughness category,” Coach Whitaker said. “I thought they were much tougher than us, they were much bigger than us… they were better than us that day.”
The game began with five different lead changes in the first quarter alone. Brionna Budgets started off her big night by scoring 10 points, with multiple three point shots and a few layup fast breaks. Juniors Trinity Knapp and Connie Clarke also contributed inside the paint.
In the second, the Griffons were outscored by the Vikings, 22-16. Budgets and Clarke again both made their presence known, but lack of rebounding halted the Griffons offensive fire. The Griffons went into the half down 45-40.
Both teams continued to trade punches in the second half. The Griffons tried to close the gap thanks once again to Budgets, who scored 11 points in the third quarter.
In the final minutes though the Vikings pulled away from the Griffons after a 24 point fourth quarter. With four minutes left in the fourth quarter, a free throw by Junior Camille Evans put the Griffons within two, making it a 69-67 game.
However, the Vikings sniffed out a chance of a Griffon comeback and went on a 12-3 run. The Griffons would fall 86-71 in South Dakota.
Although the Griffons couldn’t connect, Budgets big night was one for the record books. Finishing the night with 33 points, Budgets stamped her name in history by breaking in the top ten all time for the Griffons. Budgets managed to collect 13-of-16 field goals on the evening, putting her at seventh overall. She now sits with 59 points scored on the season.
Juniors impacted across the board for the Griffons. Camille Evans and Kameron Freemayer who both tallied seven plus rebounds, and Clarke, who earned a D2CCA Women's Basketball Tip-Off Classic All-tournament team selection last weekend, finished with eight points scored and five assists.
Next, the Griffons sit at 2-2 and are now set to play their first home game of the season against 1-1 Truman State on Wednesday, November 16th in the MWSU Fieldhouse.
“Truman is interesting,” Coach Whitaker said. “We’re gonna have a test, we're gonna have to play well to win.”
Truman State captured their first win on Sunday against Ursuline University, 67-53. The Griffons are 13-8 against Truman, with that last contest back in November of 2018. The Griffons lost in that game, 84-67.