1993 NCAA Div. III champions
PELLA—An unlikely comeback victory danced on the rim as the Kuyper Gym buzzer sounded, then Megan Carman’s (senior, Newton) shot finally fell to give the Central College women’s basketball team a 76-75 upset of Buena Vista Univ. Saturday.
Down 10 points with 4 minutes remaining, Central (7-12 overall, 3-7 Iowa Conference) clawed back to take its first lead, 74-73, on a Carman layup with 31 seconds remaining. But two Margo Muhlbauer free throws with 9 seconds left put Buena Vista up 75-74.
Dutch guard Jordan Waddell (sophomore, Guthrie Center) raced up the floor and drove the lane as the Buena Vista defense collapsed around her. Waddell flipped the ball to Carman, who was wide open on the baseline. Carman’s shot bounced before falling, to the delight of a vocal Central crowd.
“I’ve coached a lot of exciting games,” said veteran Dutch coach Jerry Nikkel. “But I don’t think I’ve ever been in a game where the dang thing is bouncing on the rim as the horn goes off.”
While it was only Central’s third league win, two have come at the expense of Buena Vista (14-6 overall, 7-4 conference), which entered the game tied for second place. Saturday’s contest mirrored the teams’ meeting at Storm Lake Jan. 10, when Central trailed by 16 points before pulling off an 82-78 surprise.
Carman finished with a career-high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
“I just thought our last two possessions were outstanding,” Nikkel said. “I give so much credit to Megan for moving. I told them in the timeout that if they just keep moving, something good will happen. Megan did that and got herself open.”
Waddell helped fuel Central’s second-half comeback with 14 points, three assists and four steals. She knocked down 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
“I hate to single players out in a game like this but Jordan Waddell was terrific,” Nikkel said. “She’s just shooting the ball in rhythm and not hurrying it.”
Guard Laura Porter (senior, Monroe, PCM HS) also had 14 points and four rebounds.
Muhlbauer racked up a game-high 27 points for Buena Vista, which outrebounded Central 43-31. Central shot 45.6 percent to 42.6 percent for the Beavers, but the Dutch hit 53.3 percent from 3-point range (8-15).
“It was just a great team win,” Nikkel said. “We had such a good practice Thursday. I told them if they play like that, we’re going to win a lot of games.”
Central will get its next shot Wednesday, meeting Loras College in a women’s-men’s league doubleheader at 6 p.m. at Kuyper Gym. However the Duhawks, who are 8-3 in the league and 13-7 overall after defeating Coe Saturday 63-61, overwhelmed Central 96-69 in the teams’ first meeting Jan. 19 in Dubuque.
A video Webcast and live stats of Wednesday’s games will be available on the Central athletics Web site at www.central.edu/athletics.