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December 9, 2009

2009-2010 Season - Second half drought costly against Ambrose

The Augustana women’s basketball team hung tough against a strong St. Ambrose squad into the final 15 minutes of play on Wednesday, December 9 in Davenport, Iowa, but a second half scoring drought cost the Vikings in a 72-47 loss.  The Blue & Gold are 3-4 overall.

The Queen Bees knocked down a three point field goal right away, but consecutive jumpers by sophomores Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) and Lani Kasten (German Valley HS, Forreston, Ill.) gave Augustana its first lead of the night at 4-3.  Kasten buried another jumper at the 17:25 mark to push the advantage to 6-3, but that was the last edge that the Vikings would have on this night.

St. Ambrose drained another three point shot to tie the game at 6-6 and gradually extended the lead to double digits, as Ashley Dexter tallied a basket to give the home team a 27-17 advantage at the 7:37 mark of the first half.

Senior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) nailed a couple charity tosses and Runge dropped in another basket to cut the Queen Bee lead to 27-21 with 5:38 remaining in the opening half.  Freshman Dori Gills (Holy Family HS, Boulder, Colo.) later made a free throw at 1:05 of the first half to close the gap to 32-27, and freshman Kristin Warnken (Centaurus HS, Erie, Colo.) finished off the Viking scoring with a three point basket, cutting the deficit to 34-30 at intermission.

Augustana shot 54.5 percent (12-22) from the floor in the opening half to remain close despite 13 turnovers.  Runge, Kasten, and Fox combined to score 26 of the 30 points for the Blue & Gold, who held a 19-15 edge on the glass in the first half of action.

Another jumper from Runge kept the Vikings right in the hunt, as Augustana trailed 41-34 with 14:38 to play.  The game quickly shifted when the Augustana offense went cold and the Queen Bees ran off 15 consecutive points to take control of the contest.  A basket by Ali Dolphin, who scored a game high 20 points, pushed the lead into double digits at 45-34.  Jenny Clark later scored on a three point basket to close the scoring run, one of a trio of three point field goals during the stretch, pushing the lead to 56-34 with 8:40 remaining.  St. Ambrose maintained its lead the rest of the way to earn the home victory, its eighth of the season.

Runge turned in another strong performance with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes on the floor.  Kasten added 11 points and seven rebounds with Fox also contributing nine points.

Dolphin led three Queen Bees in double figures.  Clark added 15 points and Megan Cash chipped in 11 for the home squad.