1993 NCAA Div. III champions
PELLA—Haley Brillhart (sophomore, Pella) had the numbers for the Central College women’s basketball team but Loras College controlled the scoreboard 86-66 Wednesday.
Brillhart had a monster stat line with her fourth double-double and her second in a row. She racked up 17 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, six blocks, two steals and just one turnover.
"Haley’s really playing well,” coach Jerry Nikkel said. “I know she’s frustrated we’re not doing better.”
Central (2-21 overall, 1-13 Iowa Conference) was slow out of the blocks yet again, trailing 26-10 with 10:21 left in the first half. The Dutch pulled within 38-29 at halftime and a 5-point flurry by freshman forward Nicole Strasko (Roland, Roland-Story HS) cut the lead to 51-44 with 13:14 remaining in the game. But Loras quickly answered with a 12-2 run to reassert command.
“We had a pretty good spurt in the second half,” Nikkel said. “We had some good high-low stuff going with Nicole Strasko and Haley Brillhart. But after that, it all went sour on us.”
Loras (11-11 overall, 6-7 conference) placed four players in double figures and outshot Central 44.6 percent to 39.3 percent. The rebounds were even 40-40.
Guard Ashley Gerst (senior, Columbus Junction, Wapello HS) had 10 points for the Dutch while sophomore guard/forwards Kelsey Schuring (Pella) and AJ Baker (Grinnell) added nine and eight points, respectively.
“Loras is a good ballclub,” Nikkel said. “But I thought we could play with them and we should have played with them.”
The Dutch get a needed break this weekend, then make their final road appearance of the season Wednesday at Cedar Rapids against Coe College. It’s a league women’s-men’s doubleheader with the women’s game at 6 p.m. and the men’s game at 8 p.m. Coe outlasted Central at Pella Jan. 9, 69-63. The Kohawks are 15-7 overall and 10-3 in the conference after dumping Wartburg 75-60 at Waverly Wednesday.