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February 2, 2010

2009-2010 Season - Augustana rally falls short at North Park

CHICAGO, Ill. – Sophomore Lani Kasten (German Valley HS, Forreston, Ill.) was perfect in six attempts from the field and also converted seven of eight free throws, but her 20 points was not enough as the Augustana women’s basketball team fell 77-64 at North Park on Tuesday, February 2 in Chicago, Illinois.  The Blue & Gold drop to 6-14 overall and 1-8 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.

Augustana jumped out to an 8-2 advantage thanks to four points apiece from Kasten and fellow sophomore Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.).  After North Park knotted the score at 9-9, Augustana edged back out in front and held a small lead throughout much of the early going.  The home team finally took its first lead of the game when a jumper from Kam Acree finished a 6-0 spurt to give North Park a 19-18 edge.

Junior Alyssa Neitzel (Providence Catholic HS, Shorewood, Ill.) scored to put Augustana back in front, and Kasten added to the lead with an old fashioned three point play.  Sophomore Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) capped the 8-0 stretch with a three point field goal to give the visitors a 26-19 advantage with 6:17 left in the first half.

North Park snatched the momentum in the final stretch, outscoring Augustana 16-1 in the final six minutes to earn a 35-27 lead at the break.  Lyndsey Thompson tallied six of her 14 points in the key stretch to give North Park some breathing room.

A pair of Kasten free throws finally stopped a 22-1 run for North Park early in the second half, but it only provided momentarily relief for the Blue & Gold as the home team eventually extended its lead to 51-32 with 12:35 remaining.

The deficit was still 18 a couple minutes later when Augustana made its final push to get back into the contest.  Freshman Kristin Warnken (Centaurus HS, Erie, Colo.) nailed a pair of free throws and Kasten scored five straight points as Augustana crept within 53-42.  Warnken later drilled a three point field goal to cut the North Park lead to 57-47, and Kasten made a lay-up to put the Blue & Gold within single digits at 57-49 with 5:46 to play.

Augustana rallied within seven points of the lead on another Kasten free throw with 3:03 remaining, but North Park held the Blue & Gold off down the stretch to preserve the home win and earn the series split for the season.

Kasten was the only Viking in double figures, but finally fouled out after 25 minutes of action.  Runge tallied nine points.  Freshman Dori Gills (Holy Family HS, Boulder, Colo.) added eight points and a team high eight rebounds off the bench.

Acree led North Park with a game high 22 points.  Thompson and Becca Heimsath were also in double figures with 14 and 12 points respectively.
 
Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand