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Central races past Cornell 80-62

Women's basketball | Jan. 3, 2009

Emily De JongPELLA—Showing few signs of a two-week layoff, the Central College women’s basketball team raced past Cornell College Saturday 80-62.

Coach Jerry Nikkel made liberal use of his bench throughout the contest and four Dutch players cracked double figures, with guard Laura Porter (senior, Monroe, PCM HS) topping the list with 15 points and a career-high nine assists. Center Andrea Clark (sophomore, Guthrie Center) also narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Freshman guard Sarah Paulson (Ottumwa) had 14 points and forward Emily De Jong (senior, Ankeny) had 10 points and six rebounds.  Freshman forward Melanie Hopkins (Earlham) had four assists.

The Dutch sprinted to an 18-4 lead in the first 10 minutes and never trailed, holding a 43-24 advantage at halftime. Central shot 43.1 percent from the field to 32.4 percent for Cornell and outrebounded the Rams 48-44.

Nikkel used 13 players in the first half.

“That was our plan,” he said. “We’re trying to keep fresh bodies one floor. Everybody’s got something they can bring. I think a few of them dropped their jaw when they heard their name called to go in.

“But we knew we wanted to press and we knew we wanted to run, so you’ve got to have a lot of substitutions to do that. I think it made a difference. Obviously we’re a better team when we run and the players love to play that way.”

Nikkel said his squad returned from Christmas ready to play.

“We had four real good days of practice,” he said. “I told the kids that it was a just a matter of execution once we hit the floor today and I thought we executed really well.”

Improving to 5-7 in Nikkel’s first year as head coach, the Dutch have already eclipsed last year’s season wins total. Central is 1-2 in Iowa Conference play while Cornell dipped to 5-5 overall and 0-2 in the league.

Central is at Waverly Wednesday to take on Wartburg College in a women’s/men’s league doubleheader starting at 6 p.m. The Knights took a 6-4 overall record and 1-0 conference mark into a Saturday contest at Loras College.

 


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