Natalie Runge scores 21 points as Augustana stays undefeated with win over Webster

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Seniors Natalie Runge and Kristina Howard led the way Saturday afternoon as Augustana remained unbeaten with a 70-62 win over Webster at Carver Center. Runge scored a game-high 21 points and Howard added 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds as the Vikings improved to 4-0. Webster fell to 0-3.

Runge scored six points as the Vikings jumped out to a quick 17-5 lead with 13:57 left in the opening half. The Gorloks whittled the advantage to five at 19-14, but Runge (five points) and Howard (four) fueled a 9-4 run to push it back to double digits at 28-18. An Amy Hicks three-pointer pushed the margin to 13 and it reached its largest of the first half at 33-18 and 35-20, both times on Molly Etheridge  baskets.

Webster refused to go away, however, and closed the half with a 10-0 run to go to halftime down 35-30. The Gorloks' Gwen Williams had two of her game-high five steals during that stretch and she and Tori Fenemor each scored five points.

A Gianna Pecora  basket with 16:07 to play gave the Vikings a 42-34 lead, but this time the visitors responded with an 11-2 run to take their only lead of the game at 45-44. Hicks answered with a long two-pointer from the right corner and Augustana wouldn't trail again.

 After a pair of Runge free throws gave the hosts a 55-47 advantage, Webster fought back to tie it at 58-all on a basket by Maggie Zehner. Williams also had a steal and three-point play during the run.

Runge's bucket with 3:35 on the clock gave the Vikings the lead for good at 60-58 and Augustana hit eight of its last nine free throws in the final 2:54 to seal the victory.

Etheridge joined Runge and Howard in double figures with 10 points and she and Whitney Miller each finished with a game-high four assists. The Vikings shot .510 from the field, making 26 of 51 behind a seven-of-10 performance from Runge and a five-of-six effort from Howard. Augustana also connected on 16 of 20 (.800) from the free throw line and held a 33-26 advantage on the boards. Williams was the only Gorlok to reach double figures, finishing with 19 points.

Coach Bobbi Endress' Vikings are back in action Tuesday, November 29, when they face Wisconsin-Platteville at 7:30 p.m. at Carver Center.