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November 16, 2010

2010-11 Season - Vikings edged 65-57 by Coe in season opener

Molly Etheridge scored 10 points in her collegiate debut for the Vikings. She compiled all of her points in the second half, helping to lead a rally against the Kohawks.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – After a slow start, the Augustana women’s basketball team performed well the rest of the night, but dropped a 65-57 decision to Coe in the season opener on Tuesday, November 16 at the Roy J. Carver Center in Rock Island, Illinois.
The Kohawks quickly took control in the early going, jumping out to a 17-2 advantage just over seven minutes into the game.  A jumper from sophomore Kristin Warnken (Centaurus HS, Erie, Colo.) knotted the game at 2-2 before the visitors rattled off 15 straight points.
Junior Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) got the Blue & Gold back on track with a bucket at the 12:00 minute mark.  She scored again on the next possession and freshman Jessica Baids (West Chicago HS, Carol Stream, Ill.) nailed a jumper to slice the Coe lead to 17-8 with 10:48 remaining in the opening half.
After an 8-0 run by the visitors, Augustana responded with a terrific finish to the first period. Senior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) drilled one of her four three pointers on the night to stop the Coe run and make the score 26-11.  Runge and junior Kristina Howard (Cherokee Trail HS, Aurora, Colo.) each contributed baskets and a free throw from Baids cut the gap to 26-16.
The deficit was still at 10 when Fox connected on another trifecta to close the gap to 28-21 at the 1:05 mark.  The Kohawks held on in the final minute and went to intermission with a 33-23 lead over the Vikings.
Coe gradually built on its lead in the early minutes of the second half, pulling out to a 45-29 advantage at the 15:03 mark.  The Kohawks maintained a double digit lead until freshman Molly Etheridge (Normal Community HS, Bloomington, Ill.) scored the first six points of her career with three straight baskets to close the deficit to 46-37 with 13:06 to play.
Etheridge’s scoring spree was followed by a pair of charity tosses from Baids and another basket from Fox, who led both teams in scoring with 18 points, as Augustana climbed within 46-41.  She drilled her third three point field goal a few possessions later to keep the game within reach at 50-44 with just under nine minutes remaining.
Fox’s fourth bucket from beyond the arc pulled the Blue & Gold within 52-49, keeping the pressure on the Kohawks.  Etheridge continued her strong performance in the second half, scoring on consecutive possessions to edge Augustana even closer at 55-53 with just 4:33 to play.
The Vikings pulled within two points on a couple more occasions in the final minutes, but were unable to grab the lead down the stretch as Coe pulled out the road victory.
Fox was joined in double figures by Runge (14 points) and Etheridge (10 points).  Baids also contributed nine points off the bench in 13 minutes of action.  Junior Whitney Miller (Clinton HS, Clinton, Iowa) did not score, but had a key impact on the game, playing 33 minutes at the point without a turnover.
Augustana is now 0-1 on the season and will be back in action on Friday, November 19 against Lakeland in the opening round of the Lakeland Tip-Off.  The Vikings will play a second game at the event on Saturday, November 20.
Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand