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Comeback bid falls short Central women’s basketball team

Women's basketball | Dec. 17, 2011

DES MOINES — The Central College women’s basketball team closed the deficit to one point in the final minutes of the game, but couldn’t find the spark to retake the lead over AIB College of Business Saturday, as the Eagles handed Central a 53-50 defeat.

“We had 30 turnovers on the game,” said coach Mike Jacobsma. “It’s just hard to win a game when you don’t control the ball. And, we were only 2-17 on three-pointers. We’ve got to make more of those. I give AIB credit. They pressured us and didn’t make it easy to do the things we wanted to do.”

It was a close battle from the opening tipoff. Central and AIB traded the lead throughout the first half, but the Dutch jumped out to a 15-10 lead at the 12:32 mark. AIB responded with an 8-2 run to take the lead with 5:41 remaining. Tied 23-23 with 5 seconds on the clock, sophomore guard Annie Sarcone (Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) hit a clutch bucket and the Dutch took a two-point advantage into intermission.

“We went into the locker room knowing that we were a much better team than we played like in the first half,” said Jacobsma. “The turnovers really made things difficult for us.”  

AIB took command to open the second half and marched to a 47-38 lead with 5:04 remaining. A 12-4 Central run in the ensuing two and a half minutes narrowed the gap to 51-50, but an Eagle’s layup at the 1:44 mark was enough to keep the Dutch from their fifth win of the season.

“We made a run at the end,” said Jacobsma. “But it shouldn’t have to come to that. We want to learn to take control early and hold it for the whole game.”

AIB (7-7) won the shooting battle, going 38.2 percent from the field, while holding Central (4-5) to 30 percent. Junior forward Nicole Strasko (Roland, Roland-Story HS) led the scoring attack for the Dutch with 11 points while senior forward A.J. Baker (Grinnell) had 10.

On the other end of the court, senior guard Sarah Paulson (Ottumwa) fronted the defensive effort, recording 9 rebounds for the game.

Central takes 11 days off before heading to the Land of Magic Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Dutch face 6-3 Trine University (Ind.) Dec. 28 and 7-2 Clark University (Mass.) Dec. 29. 

Central College