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December 20, 2008

2008-09 Season - Natalie Runge scores 27 points to lead Vikings to 85-76 double overtime victory against Peace

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – A trip to South Padre Island, Texas came at just the right time for the Augustana women’s basketball team, as the Vikings earned an 85-76 double overtime victory against Peace on Saturday, December 20.  It is the second win of the season for Augustana and the team improves to 2-7 overall.

Freshman Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) finished with a game-high 27 points and started quickly, scoring seven early points as Augustana jumped out to a 9-2 lead five minutes into the contest.

Peace turned the momentum with a 14-0 spurt, moving in front 16-9, and leading for the rest of the half.  The advantage grew to 12 points with less than two minutes to play and was 31-21 at intermission.

The Vikings came out of the locker room firing with junior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) connecting on a three point attempt to cut the deficit to seven.  After a Peace bucket, freshman Lani Kasten (Forreston HS, German Valley, Ill.) converted a lay-up to begin an 11-2 run that tied the game at 35-35 with 16:40 left to play.  Runge made all four of her free throw attempts from the charity stripe and Kasten closed the run with a three point field goal for the Vikings.

Once again, Peace pulled back in front, leading 52-44 with 7:28 to play.  The Vikings were not done, as the squad rallied to tie the contest at 54-54 at the 2:38 mark of regulation.  Trailing by four with 25 seconds left, the Vikings used baskets from Runge and freshman Kristina Howard (Cherokee Trail HS, Aurora, Colo.) to tie the game at 60-60 and send the teams to overtime.  Howard scored the tying bucket with three seconds left after Fox stole the ball with just under 10 seconds remaining.

The two teams traded the lead back and forth in the first extra session with Peace clinging to a three point advantage at the 1:40 mark.  Runge scored on a lay-up at 1:13 to cut the lead to 68-67 and senior Sarah Rachwalski (Amos Alonzo Stagg HS, Palos Hills, Ill.) put Augustana in front 69-68 with a lay-up of her own with 46 seconds left to play.  Rachwalski added a free throw with 12 seconds left in the overtime session, but Peace’s Christy Freeman hit a jumper with seven seconds to go and the teams headed for a second overtime period knotted at 70-70.

This time there was no doubt about the outcome, as Augustana scored the first five points of the second overtime and eventually extended the lead into double digits at 82-72 on a pair of made free throws by sophomore Jeanelle Strohmaier (Genoa-Kingston HS, Genoa, Ill.) with 1:05 left to play.  The Vikings outscored Peace 15-6 and finished with an 85-76 victory.

Runge (pictured above) finished with a double-double, snaring a game-high 15 rebounds to go along with her 27 points.  Rachwalski added a double-double of her own, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.  Rachwalski nearly finished with a triple-double, ending the game with eight assists.

The Vikings held a 61-45 rebounding advantage and also finished with a significant free throw edge.  Augustana connected on 32-50 free throw opportunities while Peace converted 6-9 attempts.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand