ROCK ISLAND, Ill. --- Aurora University fell to Augustana College, 93-67, in an NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship first round game at the Roy J. Carver Center.
The third-ranked Vikings (25-3), playing in front of a raucous home crowd, grabbed the early lead with a 3-pointer by Nolan Ebel just 18 seconds into the game. The shot set the tone for the entire first half as Augustana went on to drain nine more shots from behind the arc in the frame while holding the Spartans without a 3-pointer en route to a 60-29 halftime lead.
Aurora was limited to just 30.4 percent (7-of-23) shooting from the field, while the hosts - who hovered at or above 70 percent for much of the period - finished the first half shooting 65.7 percent (23-of-35).
Augustana pushed the lead to 37 points on a 3-pointer by Brett Benning with 15:21 to play but Aurora slowly chipped away at the lead - getting as close as 23 on a pair of Terrell Wilson free throws with 6:50 to play.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 36.4 percent (20-of-55) from the field with five 3-pointers. The Vikings cooled off to 55.0 percent (33-of-60) as head coach Grey Giovanine utilized the full depth of his bench in the second half. Augustana ended up 14-of-21 from behind the arc. Aurora came out ahead at the free throw line, however, connecting on 22 of 26 chances (84.6 percent). The hosts were just 13-of-21 (61.9 percent).
Wilson led Aurora with 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field. He was also 7-of-8 at the line. Bailey Vance added 13 points.
Augustana finished with four players in double figures, led by 21 from Brett Benning.
Aurora concludes its season at 17-12 overall.