Larry Happel, Sports Information Director
MOUNT PLEASANT — Aggressive defense sent the Central College women’s basketball team into its Christmas break with a comfortable 73-55 victory at Iowa Wesleyan University Tuesday night.
The Dutch (4-7) defenders were active with 15 steals and six blocks, including five thefts by guard Emily Hay (sophomore, Stanwood, North Cedar HS). She also scored 11 points in just 16 minutes of action. Meanwhile center Kendall Brown (junior, Moravia) blocked four shots and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
“We did a good job of pressuring the ball,” coach Joe Steinkamp said. “Those steals led to a lot of easy baskets in transition. That got us going early in the game.”
Guard Jenna Clark (freshman, Story City, Roland-Story HS) had 16 points and three assists with three steals.
“Jenna was really good tonight,” Steinkamp said. “She made some 3’s early that softened the zone and enabled us to get tood looks the rest of the night.”
Forward Payton Rogers (sophomore, Moravia) had 12 points and five rebounds. Guard Cynthia Rangel (sophomore, San Antonio, Texas, William J. Brennan HS) passed out six assists.
“Cynthia was a big reason those others were scoring,” Steinkamp said. “She really found the open players.”
Central limited Iowa Wesleyan (1-8) to 36.7-percent shooting. The Dutch actually shot even worse, at 36.5 percent, but that number is skewed by a 4-for-21 fourth quarter, after Steinkamp emptied the bench. Central shot at a 53.3-percent clip in the third quarter, building a 63-36 lead. The Dutch held a 39-30 rebounding advantage.
All 17 Central players saw the floor.
“That was good to see,” Steinkamp said. “A couple of those players got their first varsity minutes. They’ve worked so hard throughout the season. It was fun for them to have a chance to play.”
The night was marred, however, by an injury to guard Mary Faulkner (junior, Glendale, Ariz., Sunrise Mountain HS). The extent of the injury was not immediately known.
“That was really disappointing,” Steinkamp said.
The Dutch will enjoy a two-week Christmas break before opening a three-game American Rivers Conference homestand Wednesday, Jan. 2, taking on the University of Dubuque in a women’s-men’s doubleheader starting at 6 p.m. at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. Live stats and a video webstream of the game will be available through athletics.central.edu.
Dubuque is 1-9 overall and 0-3 in the league after a 72-57 loss Tuesday night to North Central College (Ill.) and the Spartans have a pair of games in Ohio next week before playing at Central. Dubuque and the Dutch split a pair of games last year.
After back-to-back wins, Central, 0-2 in league play, will seek to carry the momentum into rest of the conference slate.
“Our goal for the week was to go into the break with a two-game winning streak and come back ready to play for the conference games,” Steinkamp said. “We can still accomplish a lot of our goals we set at the start of the year.”