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February 20, 2010

2009-2010 Season - Fox scores 23 in win over North Central

Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) poured in 23 points and grabbed a game high eight rebounds to help lead Augustana to a 66-59 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin victory over North Central on Saturday, February 20 in the Carver Center. The victory allowed fourth year head coach Bobbi Endress’ team to close out the 2009-10 campaign with a 7-18 overall record and a 2-12 mark in the league. That is the highest win total since the 2003-04 season when then-head coach James Black’s team went 15-9.

Fox made six of 14 shots from the field, including one three pointer, and dropped in 10 of 12 from the free throw line. She had an assist and two steals in 35 minutes of play. In an impressive display of balanced scoring, a total of four Vikings were in double figures. Sophomore Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Missouri) had 13, Alyssa Neitzel (Providence Catholic HS, Shorewood, Ill.) scored 12 and Lani Kasten (Forreston HS, Forreston, Ill.) contributed 10.

In the early going the game was tight and with 8:55 left in the first half the score was tied 12-12 after a basket by Fox.  That ignited an eventual 16-0 run that culminated with a three point field goal from Neitzel with 3:56 left before halftime which gave the Vikings a 26-12 lead. Augustana led 29-16 at intermission and the advantage stayed in double digits throughout most of the second half.

With 4:09 remaining in the game Fox nailed a basket to make it 56-46 and with 2:17 to play Runge drilled a pair of free throws to make it a nine point bulge (60-51). However, the Cardinals were relentless on defense, forcing an incredible five held balls in the final 2:26 of play.

After Runge’s free throws, North Central’s Jackie Errico nailed a three point field goal with 2:03 left to make it 60-54. Fox hit two free throws at 1:32 to bump the margin back up to eight (62-54). Terra Musgrove connected on two free throws at 1:14 for the Cardinals to trim the margin to six (62-56). With :29 left Jenny Swanson hit a three point field goal for the visitors to make it a three point game (62-59).

Fox came to the rescue with :22 left when she calmly dropped in a pair of free throws to make it a five point game (64-59). North Central missed two shot after that, including one that was blocked by Kasten and with just one tick left on the clock it was fitting that Fox hit a pair of free throws to account for the final margin.

The Vikings were 23 of 28 from the free throw line and only committed 17 turnovers in the game. Errico led North Central in scoring with 25 points while Kaelyn Witkowski had 10.

Augustana finished the year 7-18 overall and 2-12 in the CCIW and North Central was 5-20 and 2-12.