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January 24, 2009

2008-09 Season - Vikings drop heartbreaker 68-65 to Millikin in overtime

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The Augustana women’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaker on Saturday, January 24, falling 68-65 to Millikin in overtime in Rock Island, Illinois. The Vikings are now 2-15 overall and 0-6 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.

The Vikings raced out to a 10-2 advantage in the game’s opening minutes. Freshmen Lani Kasten (German Valley HS, Forreston, Ill.) and Allie Scaggs (Petersburg Porta HS, Petersburg, Ill.) hit consecutive buckets to jump start the offensive attack. After a field goal by Millikin’s leading scorer, Elise Wildman, Augustana ran off the next six points to gain the eight point lead. Freshman Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) scored two of her team-high 19 points to make it 6-2 and Kasten and Scaggs each followed with another basket for the Blue & Gold.

Augustana later led 17-8 at the 11:37 mark of the first half, but an 11-0 spurt by the Big Blue put the visitors in front for the first time after a jumper from Tracie Yantis put Millikin ahead, 19-17. Runge quickly followed with a basket of her own and junior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) helped the Vikings regain the lead. There were three more ties in the final four minutes of the first half and Augustana was clinging to a one point edge, 31-30 at halftime.

The game remained deadlocked the rest of the way, with neither team able to pull away. The biggest lead for either side was three points during the second half. Runge broke a 57-57 tie with a jumper to put Augustana in front with 1:07 to play. Wildman missed the front end of a one and one opportunity at the other end for Millikin and senior Sarah Rachwalski (Amos Alonzo Stagg HS, Palos Hills, Ill.) scored a key basket to give the Vikings a 61-57 advantage with 25 seconds remaining. A basket by Wildman cut the Viking lead to 61-59 and Kayla Pembrook sent the game into overtime with a jumper with just seven seconds to go in regulation.

Millikin scored first in the extra session on a jumper by Yantis, but Runge scored her final basket of the night to knot the game at 63-63. After falling behind by one, Runge came through again, knocking down a pair of free throws to put the Vikings back in front 65-64. Those were the final points for Augustana as four made free throws in the final 30 seconds allowed the Big Blue to escape with the overtime road victory, 68-65.

Runge (pictured above) connected on 8-12 field goal attempts and was a perfect 3-3 from the free throw line to accumulate her 19 points. She also led the Vikings with three steals. Kasten finished with 13 points and Fox was the third Augustana player in double figures with 10 points. Freshman Kristina Howard (Cherokee Trail HS, Aurora, Colo.) continued to be a force on the glass, snaring 11 rebounds off the bench. Fox finished one rebound away from a double-double, grabbing nine boards. Augustana finished with a decisive 48-35 rebounding advantage.

Wildman scored 23 points to pace the Millikin offense. Yantis added 17 points and Crystal Zeigler also scored 12 points for the Big Blue.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand