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Dubuque bests Central in close-fought women’s basketball contest

Women's basketball | Jan. 14, 2012

DUBUQUE — The Central College women’s basketball game opened the game with a strong run and dialed up the pressure in the final minute, but the effort fell short as the Dutch dropped a close game to University of Dubuque, 62-60, in Iowa Conference play Saturday.

The first four minutes and 30 seconds couldn’t have gone better for Central, as the Dutch reeled off a 12-0 run to open the game. After recording their first bucket at the 16:22 mark, the Spartans scraped their way back into the game, using a 12-2 run of their own to narrow the margin to 14-12 with 8:20 remaining in the opening period.

“That’s been the story of this team so far,” said coach Mike Jacobsma. “We’ve been starting off really hot and letting teams come back on us.”

After taking a 30-26 lead into halftime, Central (5-10, 0-6 conference) kept the Spartans at bay for the first five minutes of the second period until Dubuque (7-8, 2-4 conference) took its first lead of the game, 39-37, at the 15:15 mark.

“We just had trouble executing our offense,” said Jacobsma. “We wanted to move the ball around and make them defend us, take five or more passes and get a good look. Dubuque didn’t let us do that.”

Despite its offensive struggle, Central was in position to take the lead in the final minute. With 37 seconds remaining, junior guard Alyssa Schwartz (Titonka, WCLT HS) found an open shot and hit a 3-pointer to bring the Dutch within one. Down 61-60, a potential go-ahead 3-pointer from senior guard Cory Bacon (Garwin, GMG HS) bounced off the rim as time expired.

“It was a good shot for her,” said Jacobsma. “She was out in transition and she wanted the ball in her hands with the game on the line. It just wasn’t quite there.”

 Junior forward Nicole Strasko (Roland, Roland-Story HS) had 13 points and seven rebounds for the game, leading the Dutch in both categories. Guard Sarah Paulson (senior, Ottumwa) had 10 points and six rebounds, while Schwartz added another 10 points.

The Dutch shot 39.9 percent from the field, and Dubuque went for 50 percent.

Central looks to make adjustments Monday when it travels to Indianola for a 2 p.m. game with Simpson College. The preseason league favorite, Simpson holds an 11-4 record and is 4-2 in the conference.

“Simpson is going to pressure us for all 40 minutes,” said Jacobsma. “We need to continue to take care of the ball, get down to 16 turnovers or less, and play better man-to-man defense.”

Central College