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No. 3 Northwestern overpowers Dutch

Women's basketball | Dec. 19, 2009

Ashley GerstPELLA—Nationally ranked Northwestern College put five players in double figures and overpowered the Central College women’s basketball team 95-57 Saturday.

Central (2-8) is still without four of its top players due to injury and the remainder of the squad endured a nine-minute first-half scoring drought that allowed Northwestern to break it open early. They reeled off 23 unanswered points in that span, building a 37-9 lead and stretching it to 58-23 at halftime. The Raiders (11-2) are rated No. 3 in NAIA Division II.

Northwestern shot 55.0 percent in the first half and 52.1 percent overall, including 44.4 percent from 3-point range.

“In the first half, every shot they took was either in the lane or was behind the 3-point line,” said Central coach Jerry Nikkel.

Central shot 35.6 percent from the floor and the undersized Dutch were dominated on the glass, where Northwestern held a 52-36 advantage.

“Even if we’re 100 percent healthy, we would have a tough time with Northwestern because they have a really good ballteam,” Nikkel said. “They’re very, very active. They run the floor so well and they know how to finish. Every player on the squad is a good finisher. They have some really talented players.”

Central’s reserves saw extended minutes and guard/forward Aimee Delpierre (sophomore, Chariton) came off the bench to score a career-high 16 points. Guard/forward Kelsey Schuring (sophomore, Pella) also had 16.

 “Aimee played well and Cory Bacon (sophomore, Garwin, GMG HS) gave us some good minutes as well,” Nikkel said. “Aimee’s been coming along.”

Nikkel also cited forward Steph Hasken (freshman, Davenport, West HS), who is catching up after reporting late because of volleyball.

Central is off for Christmas, then takes a break from the land of wind chill and heads to the Southwestern Invitational in Georgetown, Texas Dec. 28-29. The Dutch open against Southwestern (Texas) at 5 p.m. Dec. 28.

Central College