Augsburg (Minn.) Hits 38 of 47 Free Throws in 85-73 Win over Bearcats

Casey Thornton (Jr., F, Santa Rosa, CA/Maria Carrillo HS)
Casey Thornton (Jr., F, Santa Rosa, CA/Maria Carrillo HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Augsburg College (Minn.) connected on 38 of 47 free throws (80.9%) and Collin Olmscheid scored a game-high 27 points, as the Auggies defeated Willamette University, 85-73, in the second round of the Rocky Mountain Thanksgiving Classic at Colorado College on Saturday, Nov. 26. Augsburg improved to 1-3 on the season, while Willamette dropped to 1-4.

Olmscheid sank 7 of 10 field goals, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range, to go along with 11-for-13 shooting at the free throw line and six rebounds. Richie Perea added a 10-for-10 night at the charity stripe. The Auggies converted 11 of 13 free throws in the first half, and then made 27 of 34 free throws in the second half.

Perea and Harry Sonie each scored 19 points for Augsburg. Chuckie Smith added 11 points, while Chany Pal led the Auggies with eight rebounds.

Casey Thornton (Jr., W, Santa Rosa, CA/Maria Carrillo HS) topped Willamette with 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Thornton was 7 of 13 from the field and 2 for 6 on three-pointers. Nico Troplent (Jr., W, Los Angeles, CA/Cathedral HS) provided WU with 11 points, and Conin Oishi (Jr., G, Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS) contributed nine points.

Jordan Jenkins (So., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) of Willamette scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds, earned two assists and blocked four shots. On Friday, Jenkins scored a team-high 19 points against Saint John's University (Minn.). Jenkins was named to the All-Classic Team (see below).

On Saturday against Augsburg, the Bearcats sank 16 of 23 free throws. Troplent was 5 of 6 at the line.

The Auggies surged out to a 16-5 lead with 14:28 left in the first half, as Olmscheid scored seven points, including a 3-pointer to conclude the run. WU battled back to within 18-14 on a 3-pointer by Troplent with 12:35 on the clock.

Willamette also trailed by just four points when Jenkins put in a layup with 11:47 to go. Perea sank a 3-pointer for for Augsburg 20 seconds later to start a 7-0 run. The Aggies led 42-31 at halftime.

The Bearcats reduced the deficit to eight points four times in the first seven minutes of the second half. Willamette moved even closer to Augsburg at 56-52 when a layup by Dylan Critchfield (Jr., P, Broomfield, CO/Standley Lake HS) completed a 5-0 run with 11:04 left in the game. The short run by WU began with a 3-point basket by Thornton.

Augsburg answered with an 11-2 run for a 67-54 advantage with 7:10 remaining. Five Auggies scored during the run, including a traditional 3-point play by Sonie.

The Bearcats cut the margin to eight points, 73-65, on a layup by Thornton with 2:01 to go, and WU trailed 76-67 after Hayden Russell (Sr., W, Woodland, CA/Da Vinci Charter Academy) hit two free throws with 1:05 on the clock. Augsburg clinched the win by converting 9 of 10 free throws the rest of the way.

A total of 61 fouls were called during the game, with 37 on the Bearcats and 24 on Augsburg. Six Willamette players fouled out:  Jenkins, Troplent, Critchfield, Jared Baumgartner (Sr., W, Albany, OR/Crescent Valley HS), Johnny Verduin (Sr./So., F, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) and Brendon McCullough (Jr., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled). Two players -- Smith and Kevin McKiernan -- fouled out for Augsburg.

Willamette was 25 of 55 on field goals (45.5%), while Augsburg finished 22 of 43 (51.2%). The Bearcats went 7 of 24 from 3-point range (29.2%). The Auggies were 3 of 8 on 3-pointers (37.5%).

Augsburg earned a slim 31-30 rebounding edge. WU commited 21 turnovers to just 16 for the Aggies, but the Bearcats achieved a 36-5 margin in scoring off the bench.

In the other second round game, Saint John's University (Minn.) defeated host Colorado College, 82-55. Saint John's went 2-0 during the touranment. Colorado College and Augsburg each went 1-1, and Willamette was 0-2.

The Bearcats will open Northwest Conference play on Friday, Dec. 2 at Cone Field House against Whitman College. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (PST).

All-Rocky Mountain Thanksgiving Classic Team

MVP - Patrick Strom (Saint John's University)
Eric Houska (Colorado College)
Jordan Jenkins (Willamette University
Collin Olmscheid (Augsburg College)
Tyler Weiss (Saint John's University)