The ebb and flow in Saturday's CCIW women's basketball game was nothing short of incredible.
However, the biggest turn of the game proved to be too much for the Augustana Vikings to overcome as they couldn't dig out of an early deficit in an 83-76 loss to the 13th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan Titans at Carver Center.
At the outset, it appeared as if the Vikings (4-5, 1-2 CCIW) might have found a recipe for success against one of their biggest rivals as the hosts forced the Titans into six early turnovers and were the aggressors.
But that changed quickly as the Titans finished the first quarter on a 15-0 run and added the first eight points of the second frame to blow out to a 32-10 lead just over a minute into the second.
However, down by 22 and looking out of the game, the Vikings found a way to turn it around. With IWU's shooting slipping a bit and the Vikings only committing three turnovers in the frame and hitting shots, Augie pulled within 40-34 by halftime.
The Vikings, though, could only get as close as five in the second half as the Titans moved to 8-2, 3-0 in league play.
Despite the setback, Augie coach Mark Beinborn was optimistic about the rally and the final two-plus quarters his squad played after not packing it in early.
“They didn't give up,” said Beinborn. “I loved their energy, and I loved a lot of the things they did. We weren't perfect, but if we play like that every single night the rest of the way out, we'll win a lot of games.”
IWU had a lot to do with that big deficit. The Titans shook off a rough start to finish the first quarter hitting nine of 15 shots from the field and then scored eight points on their first three possessions of the second quarter to go up 32-10.
Augie finished the first frame with turnovers on seven straight possessions and totaled 22 in the game (while forcing IWU into 21).
After a rough three quarters, Izzy Anderson found her shooting touch and finished with 21 points to lead the Vikings. Alexis Jones added 16, and Rock Island's Justice Edell added 10 in a reserve role.
Maddie Merrit (28 points) led four IWU players in double-digit scoring.