Loras defense overwhelms Central women

Central College

Central College

PELLA—A tight defense limited Central College to 43 points as Loras College secured a 64-43 Iowa Conference women’s basketball win Wednesday night.

Both teams struggled to get going offensively but the Duhawks forced 13 Dutch turnovers in the first half to grab a 32-21 lead. Loras made a 10-1 run to open the second half, extending the gap to 14 points. Central crawled back within nine points but the Duhawks hit back-to-back jumpers and held the Dutch to 25.9 percent shooting to preserve the win.

Forward Hilary Beaird (junior, Burlington) hit 4-of-5 shots for a team-high nine points and six rebounds. Guard Alyssa Schwartz (senior, Titonka, WCLT HS) had seven points and guard Rachel Evans (guard, Fort Dodge) registered five boards.

Loras (17-7 overall, 7-6 conference) placed three in double digits. The Duhawks shot 42.1 percent for the game, including 33.3 from downtown, while Central finished at 31.9 percent. Loras held a commanding 42-30 rebounding edge.

“Give the Duhawks credit, their defense was aggressive and their pressure caused us problems,” coach Mike Jacobsma said. “They got offensive boards for putbacks and points and that just takes the wind out of you.”

The Dutch (10-14 overall, 3-10 conference) committed just five turnovers in the second half.

“We came out of the lockerroom fighting,” Jacobsma said. “We played like we wanted to win and wanted to be there.”

But it was too late to stitch together a comeback.

“It’s a tale of two halves and when you dig yourself such a big hole in the first half it’s hard to get out of it,” Jacobsma said.

Central closes out the season with a league doubleheader against Simpson College Saturday at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. The ninth-ranked Storm (22-2 overall, 12-1 conference) already captured the league crown but were upset by Dubuque at home Wednesday, 72-56. Simpson outscored Central 73-56 at Indianola Jan. 23.

Game time is set for 2 p.m. Both contests will be broadcast on KRLS-FM (92.1) and can also be heard at www.kniakrls.com and www.central.edu/athletics. Cory Houser will call the action.

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