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December 21, 2008

2008-09 Season - Late rally falls short as Vikings drops 71-63 decision to Lynchburg in women's basketball

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – Coming off a double overtime win just a day ago, the Augustana women’s basketball team took to the court for the second time in two days to face Lynchburg on Sunday, December 21.  The score was close throughout much of the contest, but a late Viking rally fell short in a 71-63 loss.  Augustana is 2-8 overall.

Freshman Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) picked up right where she left off from the Peace game, scoring six points in the early stages of the game.  Junior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) knocked in a pair of three point field goals and senior Sarah Rachwalski (Amos Alonzo Stagg HS, Palos Hills, Ill.) added a three point basket of her own as Augustana jumped out to a 15-9 lead just five minutes into the contest.

After trailing briefly at the beginning, the Vikings did not trail again until the 9:15 mark of the opening half when Lynchburg’s Kylie Lucas scored on a jumper to put Augustana behind 24-22.  The lead switched hands a few more times during the rest of the opening session, and the Vikings moved back in front 35-34 on another three pointer, this time from freshman Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.).  Lynchburg finished the half on a 6-0 spurt to grab a 40-35 advantage heading to the locker room.

The Vikings closed within 42-40 at the 17:22 mark after a three point play by freshman Lani Kasten (Forreston HS, German Valley, Ill.), but Augustana was never able to reclaim the lead in the second half.  The lead eventually grew into double digits after Lynchburg’s Brittany Dahn converted a lay-up to push the advantage to 54-44 with just over 10 minutes to play.

A furious rally down the stretch saw Augustana close within three points twice during the final minute of action, but Lynchburg held on for the 71-63 victory.

Kasten (pictured above) led a balanced scoring attack with 16 points, also snaring a game-high 11 rebounds.  Runge finished with 14 points and Fox was the third Viking in double figures with 12 points.  Dahn led Lynchburg with 18 points.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand