Auggie Basketball Struggles in Double-Header Against St. Olaf

Bobbi Jo Evers, staff writer

The second half of the MIAC basketball season is in full swing as the Augsburg Womens and Mens Basketball teams faced St. Olaf in a double-header on Saturday, Jan. 18 at Si Melby Hall. 

The opening minutes of the men’s game featured a strong start for the Auggies, as they scored the game’s first seven points. Augsburg ultimately dominated the first half of the game, taking a 36-25 lead into the locker room. At the 8:30 mark of the second half, the tides began to turn and the Oles cut the gap and rapidly scored. The game was a true nail biter until the final buzzer, and St. Olaf came away with a 72-68 victory. 

The men’s team was led in scoring by junior forward Colin Meade with a career high 23 points on 9-13 shooting, as well as leading with seven rebounds by the end of the game. Sophomore guard Will Blascziek finished the game with 13 points and three rebounds, and first year guard Kayser Hassan added 11 points. After the game, men’s head coach Aaron Griess offered his thoughts on the first half of the season. “We knew going into the season it was going to be a challenge. We are a very young and inexperienced team, due to the loss of three All Conference players (including the reigning MIAC MVP),” Griess said. “That being said, our young players are gaining valuable experience this year and we’re building for the future.” 

The women’s game started with the Oles jumping out to a 16-6 lead in the first half of the first quarter, but the Auggies responded with a run of their own, ending the quarter with a 17-16 lead. St. Olaf eventually regained the lead and held it for the rest of the game, with the Oles winning 74-45. Senior forward Jaley Coplin ended the game with ten points, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Junior forward Anja Smith contributed 10 points of her own, and also added two rebounds and two steals. 

When asked what the women’s team would take away from this game, Coplin shared that they were looking at it as a learning opportunity. “This game was definitely a wake-up call for the team, and we are taking this opportunity to see what we need to work on. We are looking forward to working out these kinks and succeeding moving forward.” 

The women’s team did deliver on their goals as they defeated the St. Mary’s Cardinals 50-44 on Monday, Jan. 16. The men were unsuccessful in their attempt to bounce back against a red-hot St. Mary’s team, suffering a 91-57 loss. Despite this, the Auggie men did take a step in the right direction on the following Wednesday with a 71-66 victory over the Concordia-Moorhead Cobbers. After the men’s game wrapped up, the Auggie women faced a strong Cobbers team and fell by a score of 63-49. You can tune into both Augsburg basketball teams via their Augsburg Athletics pages as they look to continue to improve over the rest of the season.