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Central slips in second half of women’s basketball contest

Women's basketball | Jan. 18, 2012

PELLA — Despite holding a brief lead early in the second period, the Central College women’s basketball team couldn’t slow Luther College in the game’s final minutes Wednesday and the Norse stormed to an Iowa Conference win, 80-63.

Down just one point, 36-35, to start the second half, a quick steal by senior guard Sarah Paulson (Ottumwa) led to a layup from forward AJ Baker (senior, Grinnell) and the Dutch held a one-point advantage with just one minute gone in the period. Though Luther regained the lead, the Dutch stayed hot on its heels in the ensuing minutes. However, with the game tied 49-49 at the 11:30 mark, the Norse unleashed a 14-5 run to open up the lead and didn’t look back.

“We had to try to get back in it,” said coach Mike Jacobsma. “We wanted to get up and press, force some turnovers and sink some 3-pointers. That’s the quickest way to get back in a game.”

But the Dutch couldn’t make the long-range shots fall, going 1-9 on 3-pointers in the second half.

Jacobsma said the rebounding battle also had an impact.

“We’ve got to get more offensive rebounds,” he said. “The last two games in the conference we’ve been out-rebounded. That’s not the norm for us.”

Luther held a 31-26 rebounding advantage for the game and the Dutch nabbed just 12 offensive boards.

Central (5-12, 0-8 conference) tallied a 42.2 field goal percentage for the game, while the Norse (5-12, 2-6 conference) fired off a 62.2 percent barrage, including a 68.2 percent second period.

Paulson was the leading scorer for the Dutch with 15 points and forward Kelsey Schuring (senior, Pella) added another 11. Paulson and Baker led Central’s rebounding effort with four boards apiece.

Central is home again Saturday, when it faces the University of Dubuque (9-8, 4-4 conference) for the second time in seven days. Game time is 2 p.m. at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.

The two teams met in Dubuque Jan. 14. The Spartans edged Central 62-60 when a potential game-winning 3-pointer bounced off the rim as time expired.

Central College