1993 NCAA Div. III champions
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO—The Central College women’s basketball team was stifled by No. 13-ranked Fairleigh Dickinson (N.J.) 53-37 Saturday afternoon at San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Fairleigh Dickinson is a very, very good team,” coach Chelsea Petersen said. “We did not shoot the ball particularly well, including from the free throw line. We missed some shots we should have made, but Fairleigh Dickinson is far and away the best team we have played this year.”
Despite the low offensive output, Petersen was impressed with the defensive effort and intensity. Fairleigh Dickinson (9-0 overall) averaged 87.4 points per game in its first eight games while shooting over 40 percent from the field. Central (7-3 overall) held the Devils to 53 points on 18-of-51 shooting (35.3 percent). But the team was unable to solve the undefeated Devils.
“It was a great defensive game for us, but we still need to work on rebounding and scoring,” said Petersen. “Our margin for error was low and we did not execute the way we needed to execute. We needed to be perfect and we were not perfect today. That was the difference in the game.”
Guard Kenzie Vander Molen (junior, Pella) led the Dutch with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while forward Jessy Stika (senior, Cresco, Crestwood HS) chipped in nine points on 4-of-9 and grabbed eight rebounds. Guard Emily Neff (freshman, Cedar Falls) finished with four points and a game-high nine rebounds, while backcourt teammate Rachel Evans (junior, Fort Dodge) netted seven points.
Fairleigh Dickinson’s Kyra Dayon scored a game-high 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting and notched a game-high five assists.
Central dropped its second consecutive contest for the first time this season and third of its last four following a program best 6-0 record to open the campaign. Its struggles are due in part to an increasing level of competition.
“We played a solid 30 minutes, but we were unable to close,” Petersen said. “Overall we played really well, but we did not put together a complete game. This trip is a great opportunity to play different, high quality opponents, but we need to compete all 40 minutes.”
Central is back in action Sunday at 11 a.m. (AST) against host school Sacred Heart (P.R.). It is the first meeting between the two teams.