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January 26, 2010

2009-2010 Season - Slow start dooms Vikings at top ranked IWU

A sluggish first half that saw Augustana shot just .269 (7-26) from the floor proved to be too much to overcome against the number one ranked team in NCAA Division III. Illinois Wesleyan stayed undefeated at 18-0 with an 82-60 victory on Tuesday, January 26 in the Shirk Center.

The Vikings of head coach Bobbi Endress fell behind by 22 points (42-20) at halftime and then played the Titans even in the second 20 minutes as each team scored 40 points to account for the final margin. Augustana trailed 13-8 after a free throw by freshman Kristen Warnken (Centaurus HS, Erie, Colo.) with 15:36 left in the first half.  Over the next 13 minutes, however, Illinois Wesleyan put on an impressive display with a 29-7 run to grab a 42-15 lead with 2:42 left before intermission.

Augustana scored the final five points of the first half to cut the margin to 42-20 at halftime and then got a three point field goal by senior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) to cut the lead to 19 points (42-23) in the first minute of the second stanza. That would be the last time the margin was under 20 points and the lead would grow as big as 31 points (60-29 with 14:53 left).

After shooting poorly in the first half, the Vikings bounced back and hit .464 (13-28) from the field in the second period. Fox and freshman Dori Gills (Holy Family HS, Boulder, Colo.) led Augustana in scoring with 13 points apiece while sophomore Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Missouri) added 11. Runge led the Vikings in rebounding with seven as Augustana won the battle of the backboards by a margin of 42-36. Fox and sophomore Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) each had four assists while Warnken and junior Dawn Kernich (Mt. Olive HS, Mt. Olive, Ill.) each had three.

Illinois Wesleyan got 15 points out of Hope Schulte and 13 from Christina Solari with Olivia Lett chipping in with 10. The Titans shot .460 (29-63) from the field.

Augustana is now 6-12 overall and 1-6 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin while Illinois Wesleyan moved to 18-0 and 7-0.

Augustana will host Elmhurst at 5:00 p.m. in the Carver Center on Saturday, January 30.