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Big first half but Central stopped at Loras

Women's basketball | Jan. 21, 2010

Kelsey Schuring DUBUQUE—Central College cranked out its most productive first half of the season but couldn’t follow it up and suffered a 98-72 women’s basketball loss at Loras College Thursday.

Loras broke it open after holding a narrow 47-45 lead at intermission.

“We had a nice first half,” coach Jerry Nikkel “We really played good offensively. We made a lot of good decisions and had several people step up to the plate for us. But in the second half, we let things revert to our old ways. We allowed them way too many looks from the outside. They’re a really good 3-point shooting team, that’s pretty much what they live by. But we continued to struggle defensively.”

Central (2-15 overall, 1-7 Iowa Conference) shot 52.9 percent in the opening period but just 35.5 percent in the second half. The Dutch also missed nine of 18 free throws.

Freshman forward Nicole Strasko (Roland, Roland-Story HS) had her first career double-double, coming off the bench with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Both were season highs.

“We had a couple people who stepped up,” Nikkel said. “Nicole Strasko had a pretty good game for us, both offensively and in rebounding.”

Forward Haley Brillhart (sophomore, Pella) also had 14 points in a reserve role, while guard/forward Kelsey Schuring (sophomore, Pella) had 12 points and five boards.

But Loras (9-8 overall, 4-4 conference) placed five players in double figures including Lisa Morrisey with 22 and Lindsay Bava with 20. The Duhawks had 11 3-point goals and outrebounded Central 47-39 while shooting 46.6 percent.

Central begins the second half of the conference slate Saturday, traveling to Indianola to take on league-leading Simpson College. Simpson is 14-3 overall and 7-1 in the league after a 91-76 conquest of Dubuque Thursday night. Central was topped by Simpson 88-81 at Pella Dec. 2.

“We’ve just got to keep hanging in there,” Nikkel said.

Central College