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Shorthanded Central outscored at Buena Vista

Women's basketball | Dec. 10, 2009

AJ BakerSTORM LAKE—The Central College women’s basketball team left a formidable lineup at home Thursday night and the rest of the Dutch were overwhelmed at Buena Vista 99-60.

Playing without four of the team’s top players, all sidelined by injury, the Dutch (2-6 overall, 1-2 Iowa Conference) were not only short on numbers but on size at well. Sophomore Melanie Hopkins (Earlham), at just 5-foot-9, was forced to start at center. Central was outrebounded 45-31, but Buena Vista also had the upper hand elsewhere. The Beavers (7-2 overall, 3-0 conference) shot 52.9 percent from the floor to Central’s 38.2 percent and the Dutch committed a charitable 31 turnovers. Central, which led 14-13 with 13:44 left in the first half, trailed 48-33 at intermission.

“Buena Vista played well,” coach Jerry Nikkel said. “They shot well on their own court and they totally outrebounded us, which was a big factor in the game. We made far too many turnovers, especially in the first half, and a lot of them were unforced. We just can’t have that.”

Guard Jordan Waddell (junior, Guthrie Center) had 13 points, three assists and two steals for the Dutch. Guard Ashley Gerst (senior, Columbus Junction, Wapello HS) and forward Nicole Strasko (freshman, Roland, Roland-Story HS) each had nine points. Hopkins had a team-high five rebounds. Buena Vista put five players in double figures. League scoring leader Margo Muhlbauer had 26 points.

“We just have to hope we get healthy over Christmas,” Nikkel said. “With who we’ve played, we’re happy to have one conference win.”

Nikkel doesn’t expect to have any reinforcements before Central’s next outing, a non-conference home contest with NAIA Mount Mercy College Saturday. The Mustangs are 5-6. Game time is 2 p.m. at P.H. Kuyper Gym. The teams last met in Cedar Rapids in 2006, with Mount Mercy a 61-52 winner. Central trails in the teams’ all-time series, 20-17.

Central College