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February 14, 2009

2008-09 Season - Augustana drops women's basketball game 78-57 at Millikin

DECATUR, Ill. – After shooting 58 percent from the floor in the first half, a cold spell to open the final 20 minutes of action ultimately hurt the Augustana women’s basketball team as Millikin pulled away for a 78-57 victory on Saturday, February 14 in Decatur, Illinois. The Vikings fall to 3-20 overall and 1-11 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.

Freshman Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) scored six early points and gave Augustana an 8-7 lead just over four minutes into the contest. A jumper from freshman Kristina Howard (Cherokee Trail HS, Aurora, Colo.) put the Vikings ahead 10-9 before the Big Blue used an 11-0 run to grab a double digit advantage, 20-10, with 12:22 remaining in the opening half. The lead grew to 27-16 before the Vikings started to rally.

Freshman Lani Kasten (German Valley HS, Forreston, Ill.) connected on a three point field goal to cut the lead to single digits and start a 9-0 spurt for the visitors. Runge and senior Sarah Rachwalski (Amos Alonzo Stagg HS, Palos Hills, Ill.) hit consecutive jumpers and sophomore Jeanelle Strohmaier (Genoa-Kingston HS, Genoa, Ill.) added a pair of free throws, cutting the Millikin edge to 27-25 at the 4:08 mark. The Big Blue held onto the lead, staying in front 36-32 heading to intermission.

Millikin started strong in the second half, scoring the first nine points to push the margin to 45-32 in the first few minutes of play. Sophomore Lisa Smith (Lemont HS, Lemont, Ill.) put the Vikings on the scoreboard in the second half with a jumper at the 16:40 mark, but Augustana was unable to cut the Big Blue lead into single digits the rest of the night. The home team gradually pulled away down the stretch for the 21 point victory.

Kasten (pictured above) led the Vikings with 12 points and made all three of her three point field goal attempts. Runge was also in double figures with 11 points. Junior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) scored nine points and had a team-high five rebounds.

Kayla Pembrook led all players with 22 points. Three other Big Blue players finished in double figures, including Crystal Zeigler, who came off the bench to score 14 points.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand