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January 9, 2010

2009-2010 Season - Kasten tallies 22, but Vikings fall at Elmhurst

ELMHURST, Ill. – Sophomore Lani Kasten (German Valley HS, Forreston, Ill.) poured in 22 points for the Augustana women’s basketball team, but was the only scorer in double figures as the Vikings lost 79-61 at Elmhurst on Saturday, January 9 in Elmhurst, Illinois.  The Blue & Gold drop to 6-7 overall and 1-1 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.

The Bluejays raced out to a 7-0 lead before sophomore Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) scored to put the Vikings on the board at the 16:24 mark.  Kasten added a three point play as Augustana closed within 7-5, but Elmhurst maintained its edge until a three point field goal from sophomore Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) knotted the game at 15-15.  Augustana took its only lead of the contest on a jumper by Kasten at the 12:38 mark.

Trailing 17-15, the Bluejays quickly regained control, tallying the next 11 points to grab a 26-17 lead.  Another basket from Kasten later closed the gap to 28-24, but that was as close as Augustana would get the rest of the night.  The game was still tight at halftime with Elmhurst clinging to a 34-28 advantage.

Cold shooting doomed Augustana in the second half as the Bluejays gradually pulled away.  The Elmhurst lead grew to double digits less than two minutes into the final stanza and reached 21 points after a 19-4 run put the score at 53-32.  A three point play from freshman Gianna Pecora (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) cut the deficit to 55-41 with 12 minutes to play, but the Bluejays held Augustana off the rest of the way to earn the victory.

Kasten snared a team-high eight rebounds to go along with her 22 points.  Runge added eight points and six boards with Pecora also contributing eight points off the bench.

Meghan Merklein scored 24 points to pace a balanced attack that saw four Bluejays finish in double figures.  Lyndsie Long finished with 19 points.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand