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January 23, 2010

2009-2010 Season - Kasten scores 20 in loss at North Central

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – The Augustana women’s basketball team battled back and forth with North Central all night long, but dropped a tough 62-58 decision on Saturday, January 23 in Naperville, Illinois.  The Vikings fall to 6-11 overall and 1-5 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.
Sophomore Lani Kasten (German Valley HS, Forreston, Ill.) converted a three point play to give the Blue & Gold an early 5-2 lead, but the Cardinals led much of the way in the first half of play.  Senior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) later nailed a three point field goal to knot the contest at 15-15, but a 7-0 run from the Cardinals put Augustana in a 22-15 hole at the 8:44 mark.

The seven point spread proved to be the biggest of the night as Augustana clawed its way back into the contest late in the opening period.  A lay-up from Fox tied the game at 31-31 with 34 seconds to play, but Jackie Errico drilled a three point basket with 13 seconds left, tallying the final points of the first half to give the Cardinals a slim 34-31 edge at intermission.

Kasten made a pair of lay-ups early in the second half, each time tying the game.  The Vikings finally slid out in front 41-40 after a three point bucket from freshman Kristin Warnken (Centaurus HS, Erie, Colo.) at the 16:26 mark.

The two squads continued to trade the lead back and forth, with neither team leading by more than two points until a pair of free throws from freshman Dori Gills (Holy Family HS, Boulder, Colo.) gave the Blue & Gold a four point advantage at 52-48 with just under eight and a half minutes to play.

Augustana still led by four after sophomore Elizabeth Phillips (Grayslake North HS, Lake Villa, Ill.) drained a jumper at the 6:44 mark, but North Central used an 8-0 spurt to take a 58-54 advantage.  The Viking defense stiffened, holding the Cardinals scoreless on four consecutive trips while sophomore Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) calmly dropped in four free throws to tie the game at 58-58, the ninth tie of the contest.

With the game deadlocked and just 1:18 to play, both teams had opportunities to win the game down the stretch.  Augustana came up short on a few shots and the Cardinals were able to knock down four free throws to hold on for a narrow home victory.

Kasten led the Vikings with 20 points, tying North Central’s Errico for high scoring honors.  Runge finished one point short of a double-double, scoring nine points and grabbing 10 boards.

Errico came off the bench to score 20 for North Central.  Christine Karl was also in double figures with 10 points.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand