1993 NCAA Div. III champions
PELLA—Center Bry Pierce (sophomore, St. Clair, Mo.) poured in a career-best 23 points as Central College cruised to a 78-48 women’s basketball win Saturday.
Pierce shot a sizzling 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from the floor and was 7-for-9 from the charity stripe. She also added seven rebounds and three steals.
“It was a statement game for Bry,” coach Mike Jacobsma said. “We’ve been waiting for her to break out and dominate. She’s been doing it in practice and tonight was a huge boost of confidence for her and the team.”
Almost 10 minutes into the first half, a pair of Jessy Stika (junior, forward, Cresco, Crestwood HS) free throws tied the score at 15-15 and ignited an 18-3 scoring run to put the Dutch up 33-18 with 2:17 remaining. Central held a 38-22 advantage at the break and a 16-0 burst with 5:52 left in the game iced the win.
Central (5-3) shot 50 percent from the field, including 41.7 percent from long range. The Dutch held the Vikings (1-6) 26.9 percent and their 48 points were a season-low for the Dutch defense.
“The team really bought into our defensive philosophy of face-guarding their best player,” Jacobsma said. “We held her to two points at the half and nine for the game. It was a total team effort tonight, but credit Rachel Evans (sophomore, guard Fort Dodge), Katie Sunderman (freshman, guard, Pella), Alyssa Henrich (freshman, guard, Newell, Newell-Fonda HS) and Katie Kepford (senior, guard, Dunlap, Boyer Valley HS) for busting their tails and defending that guard the entire game.”
Forward Nicole Strasko (senior, Roland, Roland-Story HS) had 11points and eight rebounds and shot 50 percent from the floor. Guards Kalli Richardson (sophomore, Blairsburg, Northeast HS), Evans and Alyssa Schwartz (senior, Titonka, WCLT HS) each had eight points. Richardson also had six assists, tying her career-best.
“Our defense led to our offense tonight,” Jacobsma said. “We need to consistently commit to that type of defense throughout the year.”
The Dutch take a break for final exams before meeting Augustana College (Ill.) next Saturday in a 2 p.m. contest at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. The Vikings are 3-4 and face Wis.-Platteville Wednesday.
A video webcast and live stats of the game can be accessed through the Central athletics website at www.central.edu/athletics.