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February 5, 2011

2010-11 Season - Vikings drop home finale to Carthage

Alyssa Neitzel scored 14 points on 5-8 shooting in Augustana's home finale against Carthage. She drilled three of six opportunities from beyond the arc and also converted her only free throw in 12 minutes of action.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The Augustana women’s basketball team turned in a strong start against Carthage, but was unable to maintain its momentum in an 85-60 loss on Saturday, February 5 in Rock Island, Illinois. The Vikings led 20-17 at the 12:52 mark of the opening half, but were outscored 33-6 in the rest of the opening stanza and faced a big deficit at halftime. The Vikings played even with the Lady Reds in the final 20 minutes, but were unable to rally.

The Vikings used a balanced attack to open the game with five players scoring in the early going. Junior Elizabeth Phillips (Grayslake North HS, Lake Villa, Ill.) dropped in the first points with a jumper. Freshman Molly Etheridge (Normal Community HS, Bloomington, Ill.) followed with consecutive buckets and junior Brianna Skeens (Vernon Hills HS, Vernon Hills, Ill.) knocked down a pair of free throws, giving the Blue & Gold an 8-5 edge. Junior Whitney Miller (Clinton HS, Clinton, Iowa) got in on the scoring action with a basket of her own and senior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) poured in a three point field goal, making it 13-10. Skeens came back with a jumper on the following possession to give Augustana its biggest lead of the evening at 15-10.

Skeens later added another jumper to extend the advantage back to five (17-12), but Carthage rattled off the next five points to tie the contest. Senior Alyssa Neitzel (Providence Catholic HS, Shorewood, Ill.) drilled a three point shot to put the Blue & Gold back in the lead 20-17 before Carthage went on its big scoring run to take a commanding 50-26 halftime lead.

After being held to three points in the first half, Fox exploded for 14 in the second session to finish with a game-high 17 points. Neitzel also played well, tallying eight of her 14 points in the final 20 minutes. Augustana closed within 22 points on three different occasions, but the Lady Reds maintained a 22 to 29 point advantage the rest of the way to earn the road victory.

Fox and Neitzel were joined in double figures by Etheridge who finished with 10 points. Skeens added eight points and Miller contributed four assists for the Vikings.

Augustana falls to 5-16 overall and 1-9 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin with four road games remaining on the schedule. The Vikings travel to Wheaton on Tuesday, February 8 to face the Thunder in the next scheduled contest.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand