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Offense abandons Dutch in women’s basketball defeat

Women's basketball | Feb. 15, 2014

DUBUQUE—The Central College women’s basketball team connected on seven of its 14 first-half 3-point attempts, but was unable to add to its total in the second half of a 68-53 Iowa Conference defeat to the University of Dubuque Saturday.

The Spartans (15-8 overall, 8-4 conference) shot 53.3 percent (24-of-45) from the field and used their roster depth to outdo the Dutch (10-13 overall, 2-10 conference). Ten Spartans played 11 minutes or more.

“Dubuque has a lot of depth and rotates a lot of players,” coach Chelsea Petersen said. “When you play on the road, you need to play well and have a lot of things go in your favor. And we didn’t play well enough to win.”

Central cut the lead to six points with 7:59 remaining in the game, but Dubuque scored the next six points and led by at least nine points the rest of the way. The Dutch struggled offensively, shooting 24.0 percent in the second half (6-of-25) and misfiring on all 10 of their 3-point attempts. Dubuque also forced 20 Central turnovers.

“You have to shoot the ball well, protect the ball and defend well,” said Petersen. “It wasn’t a good defensive night by our standards. We didn’t close out on defense and we allowed too much penetration. Offensively we got good looks, but we weren’t able to hit shots.”

Guard Courtney Kelderman (senior, Pella) and Rachel Evans (junior, Fort Dodge) led the Dutch with 11 points apiece. Kelderman chipped in seven rebounds and three steals. Evans was limited to 15 minutes due to foul trouble. Guard Kenzie Vander Molen (junior, Pella) finished with nine points, three steals and three assists, while guard Emily Neff (freshman, Cedar Falls) netted seven and hauled in a game-high eight rebounds.

“The defense keyed on Kenzie and Courtney and we didn’t have enough players score,” said Petersen. “It was a physical game and we didn’t respond well.”

The Dutch eclipsed the school record for 3-pointers made in a single season. The seven made from distance Saturday total 132 triples, improving on the 125 made in 2010-11.

Dubuque forward Jenna Kotas led all players with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. No other Spartan scored in double digits.

Central returns to the court Wednesday for its final road contest of the regular season. The Dutch visit Decorah for a 6 p.m. conference showdown with Luther College (11-12 overall, 2-10 conference). Central stunned the Norse 76-75 in its league opener Jan. 8 on a game-winning 3-pointer by Kelderman with 3 seconds remaining.

Central College