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Central upset bid foiled at Wartburg 72-71

Women's basketball | Jan. 7, 2009

Sarah PaulsonWAVERLY—The Central College women’s basketball team went to Wartburg College Wednesday thinking upset and those hopes didn’t fade until the final buzzer as the Dutch fell 72-71.

After coming up with a steal with 10 seconds remaining, Central (5-8 overall, 1-3 Iowa Conference) came up empty on its final possession, allowing Wartburg remained unbeaten in league play at 3-0. The Knights are 8-4 overall.

Magnifying the disappointment was a late-game injury to standout center Andrea Clark (sophomore, Guthrie Center). She was helped to the sidelines and didn’t return to action.

The Dutch used a 12-4 burst to grab a 26-16 lead with 8 minutes left in the first half and were up 35-29 at intermission. Wartburg rallied for a 44-39 lead with 14:55 remaining in the game, only to have Central use a 9-0 run for a 55-48 Dutch advantage with 9:55 left. But Abby Hempen’s 3-point basket with 1:06 to go gave the Knights a 72-69 lead and proved decisive.

“I thought we played very well for being on the road,” coach Jerry Nikkel said. “We gave a great account of ourselves. We’ve proven to ourselves what kind of team we can be, now we have to move forward and figure out how to pull games like this out.”

Guards Laura Porter (senior, Monroe, PCM HS) and Sarah Paulson (freshman, Ottumwa) each had 18 points for Central. Paulson hit four of five 3-point shots and also was the game’s top rebounder with nine. Clark finished with seven points and seven rebounds in just 17 minutes of action.

Central travels to Storm Lake Saturday for a women’s-men’s doubleheader with Buena Vista Univ. starting at 2 p.m. The Beavers are 9-3 overall and 2-1 in league play after posting a 60-48 victory at Cornell College Wednesday night. The Dutch have lost their last three meetings with Buena Vista and haven’t won at Storm Lake since Nov. 21, 2000.


Central College