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February 9, 2010

2009-2010 Season - Fast start not enough for Vikings

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The Augustana women’s basketball team got off to a fast start, but was unable to maintain its lead as Wheaton turned in a 65-35 road win on Tuesday, February 9 in Rock Island, Illinois.  The Vikings are now 6-16 overall and 1-10 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin with three home games remaining.

Juniors Dawn Kernich (Mt. Olive HS, Mt. Olive, Ill.) and Alyssa Neitzel (Providence Catholic HS, Shorewood HS, Ill.) combined for the first five points of the contest as Augustana grabbed the early lead.  After a three point play from Wheaton’s Kelly Brooks, sophomores Lani Kasten (German Valley HS, Forreston, Ill.) and Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) tallied the next four points to push the lead to 9-3 at the 14:15 mark.

Senior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) returned to the lineup and nailed Augustana’s lone three point field goal of the night to give the Blue & Gold a 14-7 advantage.  Runge followed with another bucket to put Augustana in front 16-7 at the 9:34 mark, the biggest lead of the game for the Blue & Gold.

The tide turned when Wheaton went on a 21-0 run to grab a 28-16 lead with less than a minute to play in the first half.  Fox finally sank a free throw to stop the scoring spree, but Wheaton held a 30-19 advantage at the break.

Kasten knocked down a pair of jumpers to cut the Thunder lead to 32-23 at the 15:33 mark, but Wheaton gradually pulled away for the road win.  The Wheaton edge grew to double figures on a three point shot by Jennifer Lee and the visitors eventually led by as many as 30 on the way to the league victory.

Augustana received 10 points from Kasten, who also led all players with 11 rebounds.  Fox and Runge each contributed eight points with Fox also adding nine rebounds.  The Vikings finished with a 50-37 advantage on the glass.

Wheaton had three players in double figures, all tallying 10 points. 

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand