MSUM Women’s Basketball Beats Augustana 79-61
By: Griffin Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kiley Borowicz’s had no idea how close she was to history.
Borowicz’s 37-point game was a point away from MSUM’s single-game scoring record, dating back to Renee Olson’s 38-point effort against Concordia College in 1994. A last-ditch effort to secure the record lipped out from three with 40 seconds left in regulation.
“Should’ve made my free throws,” Borowicz joked. She went 0-for-2 from the charity stripe.
As a team, those lost points didn’t cost the Dragons a thing.
Borowicz’s career night propelled MSUM to a critical 79-61 victory over Augustana College to secure their 14th straight victory Saturday night at Nemzek Fieldhouse. They have won 28 out of their last 29 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) meetings and improved to 12-0 in NSIC play on the year (16-2 overall).
Augustana (17-4, 9-3 NSIC) came into the afternoon atop the South Division but stumbling sans their stalwart senior center, Shelby Selland. Since her season-ending leg injury, the Vikings are now 3-3 after a 14-1 start. Head coach Dave Krauth can’t help but miss his seasoned star.
“We miss her on offense, on the boards and back on defense. We’re a better team with her out there.” Krauth said. “We’ve showed [signs] that we’re recovering and able to overcome that loss, but we were a tired team tonight. Credit goes to MSUM.”
The Dragons led on the scoreboard the entire way, but Augustana battled the first half, led by Lynsey Prosser’s 17 points before heading into the locker room with the score 34-29 in favor of MSUM. Megan Hintz led the Dragons with 12 in the first half, while Borowicz supplied 11 points including a trio of three-pointers.
MSUM took control of the game early in the third, thanks to the hot hand of Borowicz. She went on a scoring spree, ending the quarter with 18 points and four shots from long range. Three more three-pointers brought her game total to nine in breaking the school single-game record set by Cassidy Thorson in 2017.
“I knew she was on after her fifth three early in the third,” MSUM guard Jacky Volkert said of her teammate’s prolific night. “I passed it to her in the corner, saw her drain another, and smiled on the way back down the court. It was awesome to watch.”
Volkert, averaging 11.4 points per game, struggled to find her shooting stroke all night. She finished 0-for-9 from the floor and was left without a point. However, she found other ways to contribute to the victory, distributing the ball for 11 assists, limiting turnovers and holding Augustana’s Prosser to eight points in the second half.
“I could tell (Volkert) wasn’t feeling her shot,” Nelson said. “She was very relevant in the fact that she was finding people and was taking care of the ball.”
“My teammates fed me the ball, and I got some good looks,” Borowicz said. “The past couple games I’ve been working hard for my team, and I’m glad tonight I was able to get open.”
Despite hitting just 28 percent of their three-point attempts coming into the game, MSUM head coach Karla Nelson felt there was a potential to exploit the Augustana zone press beyond the arc.
“When playing against 1-3-1, you can find a soft spot with in the corners,” Nelson said. “I told the girls that if they find an open shot and catch it in rhythm, shoot it.”
The Dragons finished 13-for-29 as a team from three, their most made attempts of the season.
Brooklyn Liegel went 2-of-3 from behind the three-point line and provided a lift off the bench offensively. She finished with nine points and took a charge that sparked a mini 9-0 run in the second quarter to give MSUM some breathing room.
“Brooklyn has been playing well recently with more confidence,” Nelson said. “We need to get the rest of our perimeter players to the same level.”
The Dragons are no strangers to formidable regular-season streaks. The past two years have seen a run of 15 games or more. They’re trying their best to keep a game-to-game approach.
“We haven’t thought or talked about the streak as a team,” Borowicz said. “It’s nice to have, but we’re focused on winning the conference.”
Next up, the Dragons have a chance to cement themselves as the team to beat in the NSIC, traveling to the University of Minnesota-Duluth on Friday, Jan. 25. Duluth was picked to win the North Division in the NSIC Preseason Coaches Poll.