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January 18, 2011

2010-11 Season - Vikings fall late against Millikin

Whitney Miller scored 11 points and had a team-high four assists in 30 minutes of action for the Vikings on Tuesday in a 67-54 loss to Millikin. Miller leads the squad with 46 assists this season.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The Augustana women’s basketball team battled back and forth with Millikin for most of the contest before falling late on Tuesday, January 18 in Rock Island, Illinois.  It was a one point game with just over seven minutes to play before a 13-3 Big Blue spurt helped the visitors earn some breathing room on the way to a 67-54 road win.  The Vikings fall to 4-12 overall and 0-5 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.
 
Millikin tallied the first five points of the night before the Vikings quickly responded with a bucket from junior Whitney Miller (Clinton HS, Clinton, Iowa) and a three point field goal from sophomore Kristin Warnken (Centaurus HS, Erie, Colo.) to knot the game at 5-5.  The visitors scored the next basket and maintained a slim edge until senior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) poured in a jumper to give Augustana its first lead of the game, 15-14, at the 9:22 mark of the first half.
 
A jumper from freshman Molly Etheridge (Normal Community HS, Bloomington, Ill.) later tied things up at 17-17 and the game was tied for the third time when junior Elizabeth Phillips (Grayslake North HS, Lake Villa, Ill.) converted a basket of her own to make the score 23-23 with 4:39 to go until halftime.  Etheridge gave Augustana its final lead of the half at 27-26 with a bucket at the 29 second mark, but a four point play from Millikin put the Big Blue ahead 30-27 heading into intermission.
 
Freshman Jessica Baids (West Chicago HS, Carol Stream, Ill.) knocked in a free throw to open the scoring for the Vikings in the second half and Fox and Miller followed with jumpers on consecutive possessions as the Blue & Gold deadlocked the game at 32-32 with 17:24 to play.  Phillips scored at the 15:38 mark to tie things up for the fifth time at 34-34, but that was as close as Augustana would come to grabbing the lead for the rest of the contest.
 
The Big Blue advantage started to grow as Millikin eased out to an eight point lead (42-34) with just under 12 minutes to play, but Augustana rallied back 9-2 run to pull within 44-43 at the 7:08 mark.  Etheridge opened the scoring spree with a jumper and later added a trifecta from beyond the arc, one of just a trio of three point field goals for the Blue & Gold.  A pair of charity tosses from Warnken cut the lead to six and two more from junior Kristina Howard (Cherokee Trail HS, Aurora, Colo.) later closed the gap to a single point.
 
With the game hanging in the balance, Millikin put together the final key run of the night, racing out to a 57-46 lead with just 3:10 to play.  A three point play from Baids pulled Augustana within six (57-51), but that was as close as the Vikings would get the rest of the way, as Millikin converted several free throws in the final minutes to earn the 13 point victory.
 
Miller and Etheridge led the Vikings with 11 points apiece.  Warnken and junior Brianna Skeens (Vernon Hills HS, Vernon Hills, Ill.) each grabbed six rebounds, but Millikin finished with a 45-38 advantage on the boards.  Skeens also led the Blue & Gold defense with four steals.  Fox contributed eight points and five rebounds.
 
Augustana will return to action on Saturday, January 22 with a home game against North Central.  Tip-off is set for 5:00 p.m.
 
Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand