A tough stretch of the season continued for the Sioux Falls women’s basketball team as the Cougars dropped an 83-58 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game to rival No. 23 Augustana College at the Stewart Center on Friday night.
The Cougars never led in the contest.
The loss extended USF’s losing streak to three games and dropped its record to 11-12 overall and 8-11 in the NSIC.
Augustana (18-5, 14-5 NSIC) shot 55.8 percent from the field and 52.6 from beyond the arc.
The Vikings shut down USF’s most dangerous offensive weapon, as the Cougars finished just 5-for-26 (19.2 percent) from three-point range.
The Vikings jumped out in front 4-0 before USF tied it with a jumper from Chrissy Strassburg and an up-and-under bucket by Mikenna Greathouse. But Augustana followed with a 22-9 spurt to double up the Cougars 26-13 with just under nine minutes to play in the first half.
The Vikings led at the break, 33-21.
The Cougars mounted a brief comeback to narrow the deficit to nine points at 36-27 with a Laura Johnson layup with 16:37 left in the game. But back-to-back Augie buckets on their next two possessions by Faith Tinklenberg and Alex Feeney gave the Vikings a double-digit lead they would not relinquish the remainder of the game.
Augustana would lead by as many as 25 thanks to shooting a blistering 69.6 percent in the second half.
Laura Johnson and Alyssa Rushton each finished with 11 points to lead the Cougars. Johnson secured a game-high 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season. Jaicee Ulmer chipped in nine points off the bench. Teagan Molden and Mikenna Greathouse had eight points apiece.
Chrissy Strassburg had six points, dished three assists and also tallied a team-best three steals.
Emily Schulte led five Vikings in double digits with 19 points.
USF shot 36.9 percent from the field and went 5-for-7 from the charity stripe. The Cougars edged Augustana on the glass, 32-31 but committed 15 turnovers that the Vikings converted into 12 points.
USF will host Wayne State College tomorrow in its regular season home finale. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.