ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Isaac Fink scored 25 points, while Jadan Graves added 24 to elevate the Augustana men’s basketball team to its first win of the season, defeating Southeastern Oklahoma 95-81 on Saturday afternoon.
Fink shot 8 of 16 on the day and added eight rebounds and four assists. Graves was 7-12 from three and tallied six assists and five rebounds. Brady Helgren scored 13 points and grabbed eight boards while going 6 of 6 from the field. Akoi Akoi and Bennett Otto each scored 10 points to round out the five Vikings in double figures.
The Savage Storm took a 17-10 lead in the early stages of the first half before a 9-0 Viking run, led by four points from Caden Kirkman, handed AU a 19-17 lead. The Vikings inched ahead to lead by three before a pair of Graves’ threes sandwiched an SEO jumper to put AU ahead 33-26 with 6:09 to play in the first half.
After a Savage Storm three brought them back within four, A pair of Fink layups and an Akoi three pushed the Vikings ahead 40-29 at the 3:28 mark. After two SEO free throws, Helgren and Fink helped build the AU lead back to double digits at 44-31 before a 6-2 Savage Storm run brought them within nine at 46-37 at half.
In a blink, SEO marched back to within 46-43 at the 17:07 mark of the second half. In even less time, the Vikings sprayed from deep, as a pair of Otto threes and one from Akoi gave AU its first double-digit lead of the half at 55-43 with 15:19 to play. The teams seesawed after a pair of SEO free throws, as the Vikings held a 71-62 lead with 7:24 left.
SEO brought the game back to two possessions, first at 71-67 and again at 74-69 with 5:18 to play. A Helgren layup and Graves three brought the Vikings back ahead by double digits. Graves hit another three after a pair of SEO free throws to lead 82-71 with 3:35 left to go, and would hit another at 2:37 to shut down a Savage Storm rally and take an 87-75 lead.
SEO would only get within single-digits one more time, making a layup with 1:01 to play to trail 89-81. Four Fink free throws and two from Graves closed the game out and secured the victory.
Augustana shot 50.7 percent from the field while holding SEO to 39.3 shooting. The Vikings also knocked down 14 threes on a 45.2 percentage from deep, while the Savage Storm shot just 25.0 percent and made seven.
Augustana travels to Rapid City, S.D. next weekend, opening the East/West Challenge with a 6:30 p.m., Friday night matchup against Black Hills State.