Turnovers doom Central women’s basketball squad in league opener

DUBUQUE—Match-up problems played havoc with the Central College women’s basketball team Tuesday in tumbling 88-72 at nationally ranked Loras College.

Coach Joe Steinkamp was worried about the taller Duhawks’ pressure and with good reason as it forced an unsightly 35 Central turnovers.

“Their press got the best of us,” Steinkamp said. “You can’t win with 35 turnovers.”

In the American Rivers opener for both clubs, Steinkamp was impressed with the surging Duhawks (5-0 overall, 1-0 conference). They’re ranked No. 17 in the WBCA rankings and No. 24 according to D3hoops.com. They have already notched some significant wins.

“They’re really good,” he said. “They’ve got great length at every position. They’re a really good defensive team.”

Central struggled with the Loras style of play.

“They’re completely different than the other teams we’ve seen,” Steinkamp said. “We had very few half-court possessions. They had us in scramble mode all night.

“In the half-court we defended pretty well but we gave up so many easy shots off turnovers.”

Despite the ballhandling woes, the Dutch (5-2 overall, 0-1 conference) remained within striking distance much of the way.

“It’s kind of amazing we kept it as close as we did,” Steinkamp said. “I told the team that we showed a lot of toughness, but (Loras) just had too many more possessions than we did.”

Freshman guard Kelsea Hurley (Scottsdale, Ariz., Desert Mountain HS) had a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds while forward Kendall Brown (senior, Moravia), guard Maci Gambell (sophomore, Hedrick, Pekin HS) and guard Ceora LeClaire (sophomore, Des Moines, Carlisle HS) each scored 10.

Brown stood out yet again. She had seven boards and added to her career-record blocked shots total with six, one off her personal best.

“Kendall had a really nice game on both ends of the floor,” Steinkamp said. “She was good inside, she rebounded well and she blocked shots. All of their posts had a really tough time going against her.”

Central next has to take on the other league power, No. 7-rated Wartburg College (No. 8 in D3hoops.com) at P.H. Kuyper Gym in Pella next Wednesday, Dec. 4. It’s a women’s-men’s twinbill with the women tipping off at 5:30 p.m. The Knights are 4-1 in non-conference play.

The Dutch will at least have a little extra preparation time after playing their fourth game in seven days.

“It will be nice to be able to get back to practice,” Steinkamp said. “Wartburg is another really good team but we’re excited for the challenge.”

Posted by on Nov 27 2019. 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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