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January 6, 2009

2008-09 Season - Augustana women's basketball team drops CCIW opener 65-46 to Illinois Wesleyan

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The Augustana women’s basketball team hung tough with Illinois Wesleyan in the early going on Tuesday, January 6 in Rock Island, Illinois, but a big scoring spree by the Titans before intermission put the Vikings in a hole and the visitors walked away with a 65-46 victory.  Augustana falls to 2-10 overall and 0-1 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin while Illinois Wesleyan remains undefeated at 11-0 and 1-0 in the CCIW.

Senior Sarah Rachwalski (Amos Alonzo Stagg HS, Palos Hills, Ill.) scored the game’s first basket on a jumper in the first minute of play.  Sophomore Jeanelle Strohmaier (Genoa-Kingston HS, Genoa, Ill.) added a bucket of her own to give the Vikings another lead at 4-3.

After a 6-0 spurt by the Titans put the Vikings in a 9-4 hole, Augustana responded with six straight points of its own to regain the lead 10-9 at the 13:45 mark of the first half.  Junior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) knocked down a pair of free throws to pull the Vikings within three points and freshmen Elizabeth Phillips (Grayslake North HS, Lake Villa, Ill.) and Lani Kasten (Forreston HS, German Valley, Ill.) each connected on baskets as Augustana grabbed a one point edge.

Illinois Wesleyan started to pull away from the Vikings and extended the lead to double figures at 23-12 with 6:14 remaining in the opening half on a jumper by Claire Sheehan.  Strohmaier briefly brought the Vikings back within single digits, but the Titans closed with a 12-3 run to take a commanding 35-17 advantage to intermission.

Augustana closed the gap to 35-22 after scoring the first five points of the second half.  Strohmaier scored the first bucket and Kasten followed with a three point field goal to cut the deficit to 13 points.  The Titans were once again able to hold off the Viking rally and held a comfortable lead throughout the second stanza.  Augustana played a much better half, only being outscored 30-29 in the final 20 minutes of action.   

Strohmaier (pictured above) was the lone Viking in double figures with 10 points.  Freshmen Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) snared seven rebounds to lead the Vikings on the glass.

The Titans were led by 17 points from Christina Solari.  Stacey Arlis came off the bench to score 15 points and Sheehan added 13 points.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand