Central recovers for women’s basketball win over Fontbonne

PELLA—Central College overcame a near-disastrous start with some poise at the finish to outlast Fontbonne University (Mo.) 65-62 in women’s basketball action Monday.

Fontbonne (3-6) bolted to a 14-0 lead in the game’s first six minutes. Central sliced it to 19-16 with 7:06 left in the second quarter, only to surrender another 8-0 run to make it 27-18 at the 4-minute mark.

“They started an all-guard lineup and it got us a little out of position,” coach Joe Steinkamp said. “We were scrambling around a little bit and they made a lot of threes. At the same time, we had a typical first game back from break, I guess. We missed some easy shots, we turned the ball over too much and we had a lot of opportunities we left out there.”

But the Dutch (8-3) answered with an 11-0 flurry to grab a 29-27 lead and were up at the half, 34-32.

“We were finally able to get the ball inside to Kendall Brown (senior, Moravia) and, more than anything, just play without turning the ball over,” Steinkamp said.

A pair of Brown free throws with 1:03 left in the game put Central up 62-57, but the lead was short-lived as the Griffins tied it 62-62 with 14 seconds left. Two Kelsea Hurley (freshman, Scottsdale, Ariz., Desert Mountain HS) free throws put Central back on top and the Dutch forced a couple of turnovers to seal it.

“It was good to be able to win a game in that situation,” Steinkamp said. “We know we’re going to be in a lot of close games in the next couple of months so it was good to be able to be in one of those late-game situations. I thought Kelsea made two clutch free throws and then we made some clutch stops. We just found a way to win, I guess, and it was fun to have a young team be able to do that.”

Freshman guards Carson Fisk (Searsboro, Lynnville-Sully HS) and Hurley each had 18 points with Hurley knocking down four 3-point goals. Fisk also had seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Brown added 14 points with six boards, four blocks and three steals.

“Kendall had a really good all-around game,” Steinkamp said. “They did a lot to take her away but she still almost had a double-double. Kelsea (Hurley) and Carson (Fisk) continue to play well and give us a scoring punch. Also I thought Sami Craig (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) gave us some good defense off the bench as well as some rebounding and she got some steals that ignited that run at the end of the first half. It was just a good team effort.”

Freshman guard Denae Greig (Albany, Ore., West Albany HS) saw 10 minutes of action, her most extended playing time thus far.

“It was good for her to get her feet wet,” Steinkamp said. “She did a good job. She’s still got a lot to learn but she’s got a lot of game. We have high hopes for her.”

Central shot 46.7% from the field to Fontbonne’s 36.4% and held a 40-31 rebounding advantage. But the most glaring statistic to Steinkamp was Central’s 29 turnovers.

“We had way too many turnovers,” he said. “Credit (Fontbonne), they do a really good job of pressuring the ball. They used their speed on us.”

All the more reason for getting a game in before returning to American Rivers play Saturday.

“We really needed this game,” Steinkamp said. “We have not had very many practices since coming back from break so it was good to be in a high-pressure situation and come away with a win.”

On Saturday Central hosts a women’s-men’s doubleheader with Coe College, tipping off at 2 p.m. at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. The Kohawks took a 6-4 overall record and a 1-1 league mark into a non-conference game at Augustana College (Ill.) Monday night.

A video webcast and live stats of Saturday’s action will be available at athletics.central.edu. The games will also be broadcast on KRLS-FM (92.1) and via kniakrls.com with Jon Mohwinkle calling the action.

Posted by on Jan 1 2020. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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