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Strong second half carries Central to league victory

Women's basketball | Feb. 8, 2012

DUBUQUE—An 11-0 second-half run pushed the Central College women’s basketball team to a 54-51 Iowa Conference victory over Loras College Wednesday.

Down 20-19 at the half, the Dutch endured a 6-0 spree by the Duhawks before reeling off 11 unanswered points to go up 37-32 with eight minutes and 19 seconds left to play. Loras battled back to tie the score and the squads’ traded buckets until Central hit three straight free throws to take a 52-49 lead with 18 seconds remaining. The Dutch knocked down another pair of free throws in the final seconds to preserve the win.

“We came back with a huge run in the second half,” coach Mike Jacobsma said. “Then we stepped up and hit some free throws while battling on the defensive end, contesting every perimeter shot and boxing out”

Central (6-16 overall, 1-12 conference) shot 42.9 percent from the floor in the second half, after a chilly 25 in the opening 20 minutes, and hit 41.7 percent for the game behind the arc. Loras (14-9 overall, 9-5 conference) outrebounded the Dutch 41-32 but shot 35.2 percent from the floor was just 1-of-12 from 3-point range.

Guard Alyssa Schwartz (junior, Titonka, WCLT HS) had a game-high 16 points, draining four-of seven shots behind the arc. She also had five rebounds. Forward Nicole Strasko (junior, Roland, Roland-Story HS) had 12 points, eight in the first half, and six rebounds.

“Strasko our spark off the bench tonight,” Jacobsma said.

The Dutch record their first league win of the season while snapping an eight-game losing streak.

“I’m so proud of our players right now,” Jacobsma said. “They’ve battled every game this year and we finally got it right on the scoreboard tonight.”

Central travels to Decorah Saturday for a women’s-men’s doubleheader against Luther College starting at 2 p.m. With a mid-week bye, the Norse are 5-17 overall and 2-11 in the league.


Central College