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Central can't overcome early deficit

Women's basketball | Jan. 6, 2010

PELLA—Another slow start left the Central College women’s basketball team in an uphill battle as the Dutch fell to the Univ. of Dubuque 89-75 Wednesday night.

Central fell behind 17-6 in the first six minutes. The Dutch trailed 46-33 at intermission, climbed to within 63-59 with 9:30 left in the game, then faltered.

Central (2-11 overall, 1-3 Iowa Conference) couldn’t overcome a season-high 35 turnovers.

“So many unforced errors,” coach Jerry Nikkel said. “I really don’t know how to address it. I guess we just need to spend more time using pressure in practice. It’s really disheartening.

“I don’t fault our effort. I thought our effort was good. But we keep digging a hole in the first six minutes before we get going.”

Guard/forward Kelsey Schuring (sophomore, Pella) had 15 points in the first half and closed with a team-high 17, along with three steals.

Another bright spot was the return of junior center Andrea Clark (Guthrie Center), making her season debut after recovering from knee surgery. She had 12 points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes of what was expected to be a limited appearance, going 2-for-2 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

“She makes such a difference,” Nikkel said. “She gives us an inside presence we just don’t have without her. Hopefully we can get to the point where we have her and (forward) Haley Brillhart (sophomore, Pella) in there together. There were a few times they looked good together tonight. We just need enough time to work them more in practice.

“But I was real pleased with Andrea’s stamina. That was evident by the way she was knocking down free throws. When you’re fatigued, that’s often where it shows up.”

Brillhart had 12 points, four steals and three assists while guard Ashley Gerst (senior, Columbus Junction, Wapello HS) added 11 points with two assists and two steals.

Central outrebounded Dubuque (8-5 overall, 2-2 conference) 34-28 but was outshot 53.2 percent to 44.9.

The Dutch are home again Saturday for a conference women’s-men’s doubleheader against Coe College. The women’s game tips off at 2 p.m. with the men’s game at 4 p.m. Coe is 8-5 overall and 3-1 in league play after a 62-60 win over Buena Vista Wednesday night. Both Saturday contests will be broadcast on KRLS-FM (92.1) with live stats and a video Webcast accessible via www.central.edu/athletics.

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