Strasko dominates glass in Central women’s basketball win
PELLA— Forward Nicole Strasko (senior, Roland, Roland-Story HS) notched her fifth double-double of the season as the Central College women’s basketball team outlasted Buena Vista University 74-61 Monday night.
Strasko had 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, her seventh career statistical double-double.
Her play was especially critical down the stretch, according to coach Mike Jacobsma.
“I challenged the players during a time-out to limit (Buena Vista) to one shot and Nicole rose above everybody to get the rebounds,” he said. “She did a great job.”
The Dutch (9-8 overall, 2-4 Iowa Conference) have endured some challenging shooting nights this season but took command in the first half by hitting 53.1 percent from the floor. Central led by as many as 15 and was up 41-32 at the break.
“In the first half we executed really well,” Jacobsma said. “We got good shots and were knocking them down. We had five 3-pointers and those are huge. We were able to go into halftime with a lot of momentum.”
Buena Vista (7-10 overall, 0-6 conference) tightened its defense and climbed to within 64-59 with 3:24 left in the game but the Dutch knocked down six straight free throws in an 8-0 run to settle the issue.
“We had some key stops to finish the game,” Jacobsma said.
Guard Rachel Evans (sophomore, Fort Dodge) had 12 points to share scoring honors with Strasko. She also passed out six assists.
Freshman Alyssa Henrich (Newell, Newell-Fonda HS), a 5-foot-10 guard, came off the bench to score 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Her minutes and confidence level are rising, Jacobsma said.
“Alyssa came in and knocked down some shots,” he said. “And she’s so long and athletic that she can defend guards and she can guard post players.”
Central shot 47.1 percent for the night to Buena Vista’s 37.7 percent and outrebounded the Beavers 41-29. The only number that made Jacobsma wince was turnovers, as the Dutch made 18.
The Dutch continue a hectic week with a trip to Indianola Wednesday to tackle nationally ranked Simpson College. The No. 11 Storm survived a scare at home from Coe College Monday night and improved to 16-1 overall and 6-0 in league play with a 58-56 decision.
It’s one of the most daunting assignments on the schedule, but Jacobsma is glad the Dutch will be coming off a win.
“We gained a lot of confidence tonight,” he said. “We can go into the game with some momentum.”