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November 25, 2008

2008-09 Season - Vikings fall short 44-33 in defensive struggle at Cornell

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa – It was a cold shooting night for both squads in Mt. Vernon, Iowa on Tuesday, November 25, but the Vikings only made 11 shots and fell 44-33 at Cornell.  Augustana drops to 1-4 overall.

Freshman Lani Kasten (Forreston HS, German Valley, Ill.) hit a three point bucket in the early going to give the Vikings a 5-4 advantage at the 15:53 mark.  After falling behind by as many as four points, Augustana battled back and regained the lead 15-14 when sophomore Alyssa Neitzel (Providence Catholic HS, Shorewood, Ill.) hit a shot from beyond the arc and with 6:25 to play in the opening half.

The Rams defense stiffened in the final stretch of the first half, holding the Vikings to a pair of free throws in the last six and a half minutes and using an 8-2 spurt to grab a 22-17 edge heading to the locker room.

Cornell slowly extended its advantage in the second half, leading by as many as 12 on two different occasions.  Trailing 38-27 with 5:38 to play, Augustana made its last push of the night.  Freshman Brianna Skeens (Vernon Hills HS, Vernon Hills, Ill.) converted a lay-up to close the gap to single digits at 38-29.  Junior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) tacked on a made free throw to pull the Vikings within eight, and freshman Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) added a charity toss of her own as Augustana crept within seven points of the lead at 38-31 with 3:44 left in the game.

Once again, the home squad was able to repel the Viking attack and the Rams held on for a 44-33 victory.  Augustana shot 22.9 percent (11-48) from the field and Cornell finished at 32.7 percent (18-55) from the floor.  The Vikings finished with a 42-37 edge on the glass.

Fox led the Blue & Gold with seven points.  Kasten, senior Sarah Rachwalski (Amos Alonzo Stagg HS, Palos Hills, Ill.), and freshman Kristina Howard (Cherokee Trail HS, Aurora, Colo.) each grabbed six rebounds.  Cornell’s Tiffany Cowan finished with a game high 20 points to lead the Ram offense.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand