Augustana (SD) wins first-ever Division II national title

Augustana Athletics

Back on November 7, No. 2 Augustana (South Dakota) knocked off Iowa 76-74 in an exhibition game, as Daniel Jansen capped a comeback from a 15-point deficit with a fadeaway over Adam Woodbury as time expired. Three-plus months later, Jansen and his teammates won the school’s first-ever national title with a 90-81 victory over No. 1 Lincoln Memorial (Tennessee) University in the Division II title game in Frisco, Texas.

Jansen, who won NABC Division II National Player of the Year and had been struggling with a left foot injury in the tournament, was one of three 20-point scorers for the Vikings as he finished with 25 points and nine rebounds. Fellow senior Alex Richter scored a game-high 26 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field, and senior forward Casey Schilling scored 20 points and fell one rebound short of a 20-point, 20-rebound effort.

Gerel Simmons led Lincoln Memorial (34-3), which was also looking for its first-ever NCAA Division II title in any sport, with 21 points but the Railsplitters were unable to rebound from a slow start to the game. Augustana (34-2) scored 15 of the game’s first 21 points, with Richter tallying ten.

The game marked the first time since 1975 (Old Dominion and New Orleans) in which the top two teams in the NABC Division II poll met in the final, and it was also a matchup of the two highest-scoring teams in Division II. It was Augustana’s advantage at the foul line that decided the game, as they shot 21-for-27 from the charity stripe with LMU making just nine of their 18 attempts. Jansen by himself outscored LMU from the foul line, as he shot 11-for-12 on the day.