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Hot-shooting Central surprises Loras

Women's basketball | Feb. 4, 2009

Sarah PaulsonPELLA—Hot-shooting Central College made it two in a row as the resurgent Dutch women’s basketball team toppled second-place Loras College 80-65 Wednesday.

It was a dramatic turnaround from the teams’ Jan. 19 meeting in Dubuque when Loras racked up a 96-69 Iowa Conference victory.

But after an emotional 76-75 win over Buena Vista Saturday, Central (8-12 overall, 4-7 conference) shot a season-high 55.2 percent from the field, including 60 percent in the second half. Freshman guard Sarah Paulson (Ottumwa) hit 7-of-9 from the floor for a game-high 18 points and was the top rebounder as well with seven. Loras dropped to 13-8 overall and 8-4 in the league.

The Dutch didn’t take control until late, however. After leading 31-28 at intermission, Central was on the short end of a 9-0 run that put Loras up 37-32 in the first 2 minutes of the second half. But Central roared back with a 19-5 burst to make it 51-42 and the Dutch expanded the lead to as many as 18 points.

It was an efficient offensive display but coach Jerry Nikkel was talking defense afterwards.

“We did an excellent job of containing them in the post,” he said. “I thought Andrea Clark (sophomore, Guthrie Center) defended well and Haley Brillhart (freshman, Pella) did, too.

Laura Porter“Defensively, we did a pretty good job all night. They had to work so much harder for their shots than they did up at (Loras).”

Guards Megan Carman (senior, Newton) and Laura Porter (senior, Monroe, PCM HS) each had 14 points and Clark finished with 12. Brillhart had nine points and six rebounds while guard Jordan Waddell (sophomore, Guthrie Center) passed out six assists. Central outrebounded Loras 33-30.

“We had different people step up,” Nikkel said. “I just love to see that. It was a complete effort.”

Central tries to avenge another early conference loss Saturday when the Dutch travel to the Univ. of Dubuque for a women’s-men’s doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. The games will be broadcast on KRLS-FM (92.1) and can also be heard via the Central athletics Web site at www.central.edu/athletics. Dubuque defeated the Dutch in Pella Dec. 6, 70-51. The Spartans, off Wednesday night, are 7-13 overall and 3-8 in the league.


Central College