Central women win basketball season opener

DUBUQUE—Weathering the storm of 17 lead changes and a combined 64 turnovers between the two sides, the Central College women’s basketball team opened its season with a 72-71 road win at the University of Dubuque Saturday.

Its the fifth straight win over the Spartans (1-4, 1-4 American Rivers Conference) for the Dutch (1-0, 1-0 conference). Central was playing its first game since February 25, 2020 while Dubuque tallied its first game in the delayed season.

Central took the lead for good when freshman guard Kassidi Steel’s (New Sharon, North Mahaska HS) lay up with 6:55 left in the fourth quarter put the Dutch ahead 63-62. A tight game for 40 minutes, the biggest lead for either team was Central’s 71-66 advantage with 18 seconds remaining.

“Whenever we had a period of time when things got ugly or we didn’t execute the way we wanted to, the team responded with a run,” coach Joe Steinkamp said. “We were able to make enough plays down the stretch to win the game.”

Kelsea Hurley (sophomore, guard, Scottsdale, Ariz., Desert Mountain HS) led all scorers with 22 points, including a 4-7 mark from beyond the 3-point line. She added five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

“She had a really good all-around game,” Steinkamp said. “She shot the ball extremely well and its fun to see her get going.”

Despite having 31 turnovers, Central won the turnover battle as the Spartans committed 33. The Dutch registered 16 steals and scored 30 points off the turnovers.

“We knew it was going to be ugly today,” Steinkamp said. “We prepped the team on that after watching teams around the country get started after the long layoff. I was proud of how they responded and kept fighting.”

Tying a school record, guard Emily Hay (senior, Lowden, North Cedar HS) recorded seven steals while also leading the team with four assists.

“She is a really good on-the-ball defender,” Steinkamp said. “Her and Sami Craig (senior, forward, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) did a great job at the top of our press and a big reason for Dubuque’s turnovers.”

The Dutch got 12 points from guard Carson Fisk (sophomore, Searsboro, Lynnville-Sully HS), who also notched a career-high five blocks.

Central is on the road next Wednesday for a 5:30 p.m. game at Buena Vista University.

“We’ll learn a ton for this game and we’re happy to have a game under our belt,” Steinkamp said. “We don’t know much about Buena Vista because it will be their first game. We’re just excited to keep competing and see what this team can accomplish.”

Posted by on Jan 24 2021. 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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