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January 13, 2009

2008-09 Season - Late spurt by North Central is the difference in 67-60 loss for Augustana women's basketball team

– The Vikings led 56-55 with less than four minutes to play, but a late spurt by North Central proved to be the difference in a 67-60 loss for the Augustana women’s basketball team on Tuesday, January 13 in Rock Island, Illinois.  The Vikings are now 2-12 overall and 0-3 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.

The teams traded baskets back and forth in throughout the opening eight minutes, and a jumper by freshman Kristina Howard (Cherokee Trail HS, Aurora, Colo.) knotted the game at 10-10 at the 12:01 mark of the first half.  North Central edged back in front by a single point late in the half before freshman Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) nailed a pair of charity tosses with no time left on the clock to give the Vikings a 25-24 halftime advantage.  There were five ties and four lead changes in the first half of action.

The Cardinals quickly seized the lead in the second half as Gia Navarra connected on a three point field to put the visitors ahead.  The visitors gradually started to pull away and led 44-33 at the 13:13 mark after a put back bucket from Mallory Carlini.

Augustana charged right back with an 18-4 scoring spree to regain the lead 52-48 with 7:18 left in the game.  The Vikings made a trio of three pointers during the key stretch, including a pair by junior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.).  The third trifecta came from freshman Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) and knotted the game at 48-48.  A basket by Runge and a pair of free throws by Howard completed the Viking rally.

The Vikings continued to lead with under four minutes to play, but North Central regained the advantage on a jumper by Meghan McGuire at the 3:36 mark and never looked back, using a 12-4 push to close out the road victory.

Fox (pictured above) led the Viking attack with 17 points and also contributed four steals on the defensive end.  Runge was the second Augustana player in double figures with 14 points.  The Blue & Gold finished the night with a 40-33 rebounding edge, led by six boards from freshman Lani Kasten (Forreston HS, German Valley, Ill.).

McGuire scored 17 points for the visitors, who also received 16 points from Brianne Parra.  Navarra chipped in with 10 points.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand