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January 12, 2010

2009-2010 Season - Augustana drops contest 77-67 at Wheaton

WHEATON, Ill. – The Augustana women’s basketball team hung tough, but was unable to end its road skid in a 77-67 loss at Wheaton on Tuesday, January 12 in Wheaton, Illinois.  The Vikings were only down by a single point with under four minutes to play, but went cold down the stretch, falling to 6-8 overall and 1-2 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.

Sophomore Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) knocked down a three point field goal to give Augustana its first lead of the night at 3-2.  The two squads traded the lead back and forth before a 7-0 spurt by the Thunder put the Vikings in a 13-7 hole at the 13:24 mark.

Augustana continued to trail until putting together a 7-0 rally of its own to earn a 17-16 edge with 6:38 remaining in the first half.  Freshman Dori Gills (Holy Family HS, Boulder, Colo.) converted a lay-up and freshman Kristin Warnken (Centaurus HS, Erie, Colo.) nailed a three point field goal to cut the deficit to one.  A bucket from sophomore Kristina Howard (Cherokee Trail HS, Aurora, Colo.) completed the scoring spree for the visitors.

The Blue & Gold later grabbed a 27-25 advantage, the biggest of the night for Augustana, but faltered in the final minutes of the opening half as Wheaton opened up a 40-33 lead at the break.  The Vikings scored the final four points of the opening half after Wheaton went on a 15-2 run.

The teams traded a pair of runs to open the second half with Augustana tying up the game before Wheaton regained control.  Staples made a pair of free throws, sophomore Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) hit a jumper, and Gills knocked down a three point field goal, as Augustana tied the contest at 40-40.  The Thunder responded with an 8-0 run to jump back in front 48-40.

Augustana would fight back to knot the game at 61-61 with 7:50 to play after a jumper from junior Dawn Kernich (Mt. Olive HS, Mt. Olive, Ill.), but could not move in front.  Wheaton’s lead was 63-62 with 3:56 to play after a scoring drought that only saw three made free throws in a four minute span, but then heated up to pull away for the 10 point victory.

Staples led the Blue & Gold with 14 points.  Runge and freshman Gianna Pecora (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) each added 10 points.  Pecora was 3-4 from beyond the arc in 16 valuable minutes off the bench.  Warnken snared a team-high six boards as Augustana secured a 38-31 advantage on the glass.

Lindsey Brenneman led the Thunder with 18 points, and Annie Bowen added 14.  Sarah Jones finished with a double-double, tallying 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand