ROCK ISLAND — The Augustana women's basketball team continued to show improvement in a bounce-back win on Wednesday at Carver Center, although it ended up being tougher than it appeared it would.
Coming off a CCIW road loss to Carthage on Saturday, the Vikings showed plenty of spunk from the get-go in an 85-71 victory over the University of Dubuque in nonconference action.
With selfless play on the offensive end and tenacious defense, the Vikings raced out to a 23-4 lead just six minutes into the game.
“They came out focused and did what we've been working on and shared the ball extremely well,” said Augie coach Mark Beinborn. “I couldn't have been happier with the start. … That is who we can be.”
The finish, however exposed that some things are left to be worked on for this young bunch, which also celebrated former Rock Island standout Justice Edell's birthday. She scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out a couple of assists on her big day.
Former Alleman standout Izzy Anderson led the Vikings with a game-high 23 points. Fellow starters Megan Stovall (17) and Scooter Lopez (11) were also in double-digit scoring. Off the bench, Alexis Jones added a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Dubuque settled down and made some nice runs after that, making the 6-2 Vikings' victory tougher than it looked like it would be until the fourth quarter. The 2-7 Spartans drew within 74-64, but a Stovall triple with 3:02 left helped Augie extend the margin as did a Lopez 3 two possessions later.
With Dubuque coach Mark Noll digging deep into his bag of defenses, he kept the Vikings off guard in the fourth quarter as the Spartans battled back.
“We can't allow teams to get us to be stagnant and stand around,” said Beinborn, whose club committed 26 turnovers. “We have to execute no matter what teams throw at us.”
It was a tough homecoming for three former local preps — T'Nauzhae Robinson (sophomore, Rock Island), Crystal Rios (freshman, Moline) and DaVianna Buchanan (freshman, UTHS). Robinson started, but was saddled with foul trouble much of the game and finished scoreless with two rebounds in just eight minutes. Rios had one rebound in three minutes of action off the bench. Buchanan did not play.