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January 16, 2010

2009-2010 Season - Vikings fall just short against Carthage

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The Augustana women’s basketball fell just short against Carthage on Saturday, January 16, dropping a 78-71 decision in Rock Island, Illinois.  The Vikings rallied to grab an early second half lead, but the Lady Reds regained control of the contest and held off the Blue & Gold to earn the road victory.  Augustana falls to 6-9 overall and 1-3 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.

Carthage jumped out to an early lead, opening up a 27-14 advantage at the 9:43 mark after a jumper from leading scorer Diana Jacklin.  She tallied 17 points in the opening portion of the game, but the Viking defense stiffened as Augustana worked its way back into the contest.

Sophomore Lani Kasten (German Valley HS, Forreston, Ill.) knocked down a jumper, and freshman Dori Gills (Holy Family HS, Boulder, Colo.) converted a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to single digits.  Augustana grew closer when Gills followed with two more baskets, pulling the Vikings within 27-22 at the 7:13 mark.

Carthage extended the lead back to 10, but Augustana responded once again with an 11-3 run to close out the half, trimming the Lady Red advantage to 37-35 at intermission.  Sophomore Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) and junior Dawn Kernich (Mt. Olive HS, Mt. Olive, Ill.) sparked the rally, combining for nine points, including seven straight in the last 64 seconds.

After scoring the final seven points of the opening stanza, Augustana continued its superb play by rattling off the first six points of the second half to complete a 13-0 run and grab a 41-37 edge with 18:21 remaining.  Sophomore Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) evened the score with a jumper, and Gills and Runge followed with baskets to put the Vikings in front by four.

After the Lady Reds tied the game, Runge gave Augustana its final lead of the night with a bucket to put the Blue & Gold back in front 43-41 at the 17:26 mark.  Katie Klemke responded by driving home a three point field goal to put Carthage ahead to stay 44-43.

The lead grew to 14 points at 67-53 with 6:28 remaining, before Augustana made its final push.  Kasten dropped in four straight free throws and Gills added a pair of her own from the charity stripe to bring the Vikings within 67-59 at the 3:11 mark.  With the Carthage lead at 10 and under a minute to play in the game, freshman Kristin Warnken (Centaurus HS, Erie, Colo.) drained a three point basket and Runge tallied another hoop, closing the gap to 73-68 with 17 seconds left in the game.  The Lady Reds scored the next five points and earned a seven point win after Runge knocked down a three point shot at the buzzer.

Runge led three Vikings in double figures with 18 points.  Kasten and Gills were close behind, each finishing the contest with 16 points.  Kasten also snared 10 rebounds to lead both teams.  Staples contributed a game-high seven assists.

Jacklin led the Lady Reds with 25 points and eight rebounds.  Heather Gilmore also chipped in 19 points for the visitors.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand