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Central suffers women’s basketball road setback

Women's basketball | Jan. 15, 2014

WAVERLY—The Central College women’s basketball team suffered an 86-51 road setback to Iowa Conference foe Wartburg Wednesday night at Levick Arena.

The Knights (7-7 overall, 1-2 conference) shot 80.0 percent from the floor in the first half (16-of-20), opened the second half on a 14-3 run and held the Dutch (9-5 overall, 1-2 conference) to 19 second-half points in the 35-point victory.

Wartburg finished 29-of-46 shooting (63.0 percent), including 5-of-11 from behind the 3-point arc (45.5 percent), and converted 23-of-32 free throw attempts in the high-scoring affair. Central tried to keep pace, shooting 57.9 percent in the first half (11-of-19), but struggled with a 5-for-31 effort in the second (16.1 percent).

“Wartburg shot lights out,” coach Chelsea Petersen said. “I’ve never seen a team shoot that well for an entire game. They were aggressive and attacked the rim and we didn’t contain them. They were extremely hungry for their first conference win.

“It was not a great performance by us. When you’re playing on the road in this conference, you need to defend well and score and tonight we didn’t do those things. Defensive breakdowns and offensive miscues hurt us.”

Guard Kenzie Vander Molen (junior, Pella), the league leader in conference scoring (24.0 points per game), tallied 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Guards Katie Sunderman (sophomore, Pella) and Rachel Evans (junior, Fort Dodge) joined Vander Molen in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. All of Sunderman’s career-high 12 points came from distance (4-of-5). Guard Emily Neff (freshman, Cedar Falls) filled the stat sheet with six points, seven rebounds and a career-high five assists.

“Kenzie played a solid game, but the defense was keying on her,” Petersen said. “Katie had a good night scoring the ball, which is something we will need in upcoming games.”

Central was without forward Bry Pierce (junior, St. Clair, Mo.), who is spending the spring semester studying overseas through Central College Abroad.

Wartburg’s Bobbi Burrows and Kailey Kladivo led all players with 15 points apiece. Twelve Knights found the points column of the box score.

“It’s all about how we respond to this game,” said Petersen. “There’s a good way to respond and a bad way to respond. We need to practice hard over the next two days, assess this game and prepare for Saturday. Loras is a good team and it will take a great performance to beat them.

“This team has a lot of heart and gives a lot of effort, so I’m sure we will come back strong.”

The Dutch remain on the road for Saturday’s contest against league leader Loras (8-6 overall, 3-0 conference) at Dubuque. The Duhawks swept last season’s two-game series and finished fourth in the league standings. Loras edged Coe 56-51 Wednesday night after an undefeated start to league play last week, including a one-point upset of preseason favorite Simpson at Indianola. Game time is set for 2 p.m. with radio broadcast by KRLS-FM (92.1), also accessible through www.kniakrls.com.

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