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December 4, 2010

2010-11 Season - Balanced scoring leads to first victory for Vikings

Whitney Miller scored all 11 of her points in the first half as the Augustana women's basketball team notched its first win of the season with a 78-65 victory over Robert Morris. She played 30 minutes and also compiled five rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – A balanced scoring attack helped the Augustana women’s basketball team earn its first victory of the season on Saturday, December 4, as the Vikings defeated Robert Morris 78-65 at the Roy J. Carver Center in Rock Island, Illinois.  The home squad finished the evening with four players in double figures, including a season high 11 points from junior Whitney Miller (Clinton HS, Clinton, Iowa).
Although the Eagles tallied the first points of the night, Augustana quickly evened things up and took the lead for good on a bucket from senior Dawn Kernich (Mt. Olive HS, Mt. Olive, Ill.) just less than two minutes into the game.  The Blue & Gold advantage later grew to 9-4 when Miller scored her first points of the contest.  She would go on to score all 11 of her points in the first half, playing a key role in the Viking attack.
Robert Morris sliced the lead to 14-11 at the 12:03 mark, but Augustana responded with a 7-0 run, punctuated by three point field goals from freshman Molly Etheridge (Normal Community HS, Bloomington, Ill.) and Miller, to move in front by double digits, 21-11.  Augustana saw its edge trimmed back to three (26-23) at the 5:23 mark, but closed the half by scoring 12 of the final 16 points to earn a 38-27 lead at intermission.
Junior Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) keyed the offense to open the second half, scoring five of the first seven Viking points and pushing Augustana to its biggest lead at 44-32.  Senior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) then knocked down a jumper, sandwiched in between buckets from Etheridge, and the Blue & Gold grabbed command of the game at 50-32 with 13:00 minutes remaining.
Augustana’s lead gradually increased to a 23 point margin at 67-44 with 6:14 to play before the Eagles made a final push.  A 19-5 rally trimmed the gap to 72-63 after a three point bucket at the 1:43 mark, but the Vikings were able to make just enough free throws down the stretch to pull out the 13 point home victory.
Runge led the Vikings with 15 points and also had a game high nine rebounds, including three on the offensive end.  Etheridge scored 13 points off the bench in just 18 minutes off action, providing a scoring spark for the Blue & Gold.  Fox equaled Miller’s 11 points and also had six rebounds.
Augustana shot 45.5 percent (25-55) from the field, including a 48.1 percentage (13-27) in the first half of action.  The Vikings finished with a 43-36 advantage on the glass, but struggled at the charity stripe, only converting 57.9 percent (22-38) free throws.  The defense snatched a dozen steals, led by four from Fox.
The Vikings, now 1-5 overall, are back in action on Tuesday, December 7 against Greenville.  It will be the second straight home game for Augustana, who will also host Buena Vista on Saturday, December 11.
Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand