1993 NCAA Div. III champions
FOREST CITY — Guard Kenzie Vander Molen (junior, Pella) erupted for a career-high 19 points as the Central College women’s basketball team claimed a 64-55 victory over Waldorf College Saturday.
“Kenzie had an excellent game,” said interim coach Chelsea Petersen. “She did a terrific job of sticking to the game plan. She led the team and demonstrated the poise that we needed for a win. She was aggressive and showed great leadership.”
Central is off to a 3-0 start for the second straight year while Waldorf tumbled to 0-9.
Petersen was impressed with the team’s first half performance.
“We had a solid first half,” she said. “We came in to play a team that was hungry for a win and we needed to come ready to play. Our energy was high, and we were committed on defense. It was the best half of basketball I have seen from the team this far.”
Central outshot Waldorf, 42.6 percent to 38.8. percent. The Dutch also outrebounded Waldorf 37-28.
“Waldorf works hard for its offensive rebounds, but we held them to just three,” said Petersen. “We were committed to defensive rebounding.”
Up 38-24 at the half, the Dutch attack slowed before turning on the heat in the final minutes.
“We didn’t respond well to Waldorf’s defensive adjustments at the half,” said Petersen. “We had turnovers we shouldn’t have had and it took us the first 10 minutes to establish ourselves offensively.”
Waldorf whittled the lead to three points with just 2:16 left but four free throws by Vander Molen sealed the win.
Vander Molen contributed a team-high five assists and shot seven for 13 from the field. Sophomore transfer guard Kaitlin Stump (Lancaster, Mo., Schuyler R-1 HS) added 14 points. Guard Rachel Evans (junior, Fort Dodge) and forward Jessy Stika (senior, Cresco, Crestwood HS) had 10 and eight points, respectively. Evans drained eight of nine free throws while Stika had seven rebounds. Emily Neff (guard, freshman, Cedar Falls) grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
“Kaitlin did a nice job attacking the rim and Rachel knocked down her free throws when we really needed them,” Petersen said.
“I am very proud of the team for closing out the last two minutes on a high note,” she said. “We stepped up, contested shots and blocked out. We are focusing on three things: keeping our composure, having patience and committing to defense. They did a great job of all those things.”
The Dutch return home to meet Nebraska Wesleyan Tuesday at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m.