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Luther overcomes Central 79-71

Women's basketball | Feb. 14, 2009

Megan Carman PELLA—Luther College overcame an early deficit to outlast the Central College women’s basketball team Saturday, 79-71, securing a berth in the six-team Iowa Conference tournament.

The loss also eliminated the Dutch (8-15 overall, 4-10 conference) from contention for a tourney spot.

The teams traded streaks rather than baskets in the first half. Central jumped to an 8-0 advantage but Luther answered with a 10-0 run. Down 15-12, Central scored eight straight for a 20-15 advantage, only to see the Norse regain control, taking a 40-31 lead at the half. The Norse hit eight 3-point goals in the first half.

Luther (9-13 overall, 8-6 conference) led by as many as 17 points midway through the second half, then withstood a late Central flurry.

Dutch guard Laura Porter (senior, Monroe, PCM HS) had 16 points, leaving her nine shy of the 1,000-point club for her career with two games remaining. Forward Haley Brillhart (freshman, Pella) added 13 points with three assists, four steals and two blocks. Guard Ashley Gerst (junior, Columbus Junction, Wapello HS) followed with 12 points and a game-high five assists.

Luther outshot Central 50.9 percent to 37.3 percent and hit 10-of-19 from 3-point range. That was the difference, coach Jerry Nikkel said.

“I thought the effort was there, but we had too many missed opportunities on the offensive end,” he said. “We had some looks and got some shots but we didn’t convert.”

Central closes out its season road schedule Wednesday with a women’s-men’s doubleheader with Cornell College at Mount Vernon. Central topped the Rams 80-62 at Pella Jan. 3. They’re 6-17 overall and 1-14 in the league after tumbling 71-45 at Wartburg College Saturday.


Central College