Dutch sweep two-game season series with Norse
DECORAH—Guard Kenzie Vander Molen (junior, Pella) lit up the Dutch offense with a game-high 25 points as the Central College women’s basketball team claimed a 70-57 win over Luther College Wednesday night.
“Kenzie did some great things for us offensively,” said coach Chelsea Petersen. “She did a phenomenal job of getting to the rim.”
Vander Molen hit 9-of-15 from the field, recorded three assists, one block and two steals in Central’s (11-13 overall, 3-10 conference) second win over Luther (11-13 overall, 2-11 conference) this season. The first meeting Jan. 8 resulted in a narrow 76-75 Dutch victory.
Hitting 46 percent of its field shots for the game and 19-of-21 free throws, Central dominated offensively with Luther shooting just 27.9 percent for the game.
“I thought we had incredible intensity and focus for a tough road win,” Petersen said. “The team came out with a lot of heart and executed the defensive game plan nearly perfectly.
“In the first half, we went up by 20 points and during that time we did an outstanding job executing offensively against Luther’s man and zone defenses. In the second half, we handled adversity well and were able to get key defensive stops late in the game. It was a solid game from beginning to end.”
Vander Molen wasn’t the only Dutch player in the double digits. Rachel Evans (guard, junior, Fort Dodge) clocked in her second double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds. She also had two assists, two steals and was perfect from the charity stripe, going 11-for-11. Guard Courtney Kelderman (senior, Pella) also banked double digits, connecting on four-of-nine 3-pointers on her way to 14 points. Kelderman also had six rebounds.
“Courtney had a terrific game form behind the arc, and Rachel had an excellent game by attacking the rim,” Petersen said.
Forward Jessy Stika (senior, Cresco, Crestwood HS) had eight points while guard Emily Neff (freshman, Cedar Falls) grabbed six rebounds.
“Jessy, Cori Uitermarkt (forward, freshman, Pella, Pella Christian HS) and Hilary Beaird (forward, senior, Burlington) did a great job of limiting Luther’s starting post players to a combined 12 points,” said Petersen. “Without their defensive effort and execution of the game plan, this win would not have been possible.”
The Dutch now look ahead to their final conference match of the season against Wartburg College (10-14 overall, 4-9 conference) Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. in the P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.
“We will enjoy the win for the evening and then prepare for a talented Wartburg team this weekend,” Petersen said.