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March 12, 2012

2011-12 Season - 2011-12 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL REVIEW

The Vikings posted 11 victories in 2011-12, the most by an Augustana team since 2003-04. The Blue & Gold are shown celebrating after Molly Etheridge's three point field goal beat the buzzer and North Central back in early January.

Led by a seven-player senior class, coach Bobbi Endress’ Augustana basketball team completed the 2011-12 season with an 11-14 record, winning the most games since the 2003-04 team finished 15-9. The Vikings went 3-11 in College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin play, finishing seventh. 5-10 senior forward Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.), the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, was a second team selection to the all-conference team.

This year’s club started off 4-0 with wins over Monmouth (78-73), Presentation (72-45), Colorado College (60-56) and Webster (70-62). The middle two of those occurred at the Colorado College Tip-Off Classic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Wisconsin-Platteville stopped the Vikings’ season-opening winning streak with a 59-56 win on a 30-foot desperation three-pointer at the buzzer.

After a loss to the nationally-ranked hosts at the Washington University’s McWilliams Classic, the Vikings rebounded with a 61-46 win over Agnes Scott. They closed out non-conference play by winning three of four, defeating Robert Morris-Springfield (61-38), Aurora (69-36) and Dubuque (63-55) and falling to Central (84-76).

In addition to Runge, seniors Whitney Miller (Clinton HS, Clinton, Iowa), Elizabeth Phillips (Grayslake North HS, Lake Villa, Ill.), Kristina Howard (Cherokee Trail HS, Aurora, Colo.), Allison Scaggs (Porta HS, Petersburg, Ill.), Brianna Skeens (Vernon Hills HS, Libertyville, Ill.) and Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.), wrapped up their Augustana careers this season.

Runge led the Vikings in scoring and rebounding this season with averages of 12.6 points and 5.0 boards per game. She shot .466 from the field and her .806 free throw percentage this season is fifth best in school history. Miller, the team’s 5-5 point guard, paced the team in assists (72) and steals (36) and her .803 mark from the free throw line is the seventh best single-season mark in Viking history. Sophomore guard Molly Etheridge (Normal University HS, Bloomington, Ill.) was Augustana’s second-leading scorer at 11.1 points per game. She was also second in three-point field goals (25), assists (62) and steals (26) and tied Howard for second in rebounding with an average of 4.5 per game. Her .800 percentage from the free throw line in 2011-12 ranks as the ninth best in the annals of Augustana. Junior guard Gianna Pecora (Downers Grove South HS, Darien, Ill.) averaged 8.3 points and 4.0 rebounds and was the team’s top three-point shooter with 31 made (tied for 8th most in school history) and a .304 percentage.

With four starters at 80 percent or better from the free throw line, Augustana led the CCIW in that category with a .741 mark. The Vikings were also the league’s top offensive rebounding team, grabbing an average of 12.5 per game.

Runge finished her career in ninth place on Augustana’s all-time scoring list with 965 career points. With a career scoring average of 10.8 points per game, she almost certainly would have eclipsed the 1000-point mark had she not missed 10 games of her junior season due to a knee injury. She finished just outside Augustana’s top ten in career field goal percentage (.470) and rebounds (491). Miller also cracked Augustana’s career top ten, finishing with a .735 free throw percentage—eighth-best all time.

Pecora and Etheridge are also working their way up the career charts at Augustana. Pecora’s 31 three-point field goals this season push her career total to 49—sixth on Augustana’s all-time list and one ahead of Etheridge, who ranks seventh. Pecora’s career three-point percentage of .285 ranks ninth in school history. The pair is currently tied for sixth on the school’s career list with 172 three-point attempts each.

After six years on the sidelines for Augustana, Endress decided to step down at season’s end.

2011-12 CCIW MEN’S BA SKETBALL STANDINGS

TEAM 

CCIW

W-L

PCT

Overall

W-L

PCT

 

Illinois Wesleyan

 

13-1

.929

 

28-5

.848

 

Wheaton

 

11-3

.786

 

18-8

.692

 

Carthage

 

10-4

.714

 

25-8

.756

 

Elmhurst

 

7-7

.500

 

16-9

.640

 

Millikin

 

7-7

.500

 

15-11

.577

 

North Park

 

4-10

.286

 

10-15

.400

 

AUGUSTANA

 

3-11

.214

 

11-14

.440

 

North Central

 

1-13

.071

 

7-18

.280

 

2012 CCIW TOURNAMENT

Shirk Center—Illinois Wesleyan University—Bloomington, Illinois

Friday, February 24

(2) Carthage 70, (2) Wheaton 64

(1) Illinois Wesleyan 96, (4) Millikin 74

Saturday, February 25

(1) Illinois Wesleyan 68, (3) Carthage 67

2011-12 AUGUSTANA SUPERLATIVES

CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE: Natalie Runge (2nd Team).

CCIW TEAM STATISTICAL LEADERS: Augustana led the CCIW free throw percentage (.741) and offensive rebounds (12.50 per game).

2011-12 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL AWARDS

Most Valuable Player:

Defensive Award:

Windex Award:

Viking Award:

Coaches’ Award:

Most Improved Player: