Defense fuels central women’s basketball victory

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PELLA—Even as the Central College women’s basketball team’s offense needed a good start early Wednesday, the defense was on the ball and ultimately led the Dutch to a 73-57 victory over Grinnell College on Wednesday.

Central generated just nine points in the game’s first 9 minutes, but persistent defensive effort set the stage for a 23-point second quarter that put the Dutch firmly in control at intermission 37-27.

“We were speeding them up all over the court and then once we got them on the half court I thought we did a better job of talking and keeping them in front of us,” the coach said. moran lonning said. “We gave up some open 3s, but I think we did a much better job than we did against Cornell (a 77-66 loss Saturday) in having a hand and closing.”

It was a balanced effort for the Dutch, who eventually warmed up enough to shoot 47.1% from the field in the fourth quarter while shooting 35.5% overnight. second year guard abby johnson (sophomore, Ankeny) had 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals as a sophomore guard cally gibbs (Grinnell, Lynnville-Sully HS) added 12 points and Kassidi Steel (junior, New Sharon, North Mahaska HS) I was 11. Go ahead. Kaylee Weber (sophomore, Sigourney) had a game-high eight rebounds while freshman guard jasmine williams (Denver, Colo., Arvada West HS) passed out six assists and sophomore guard Hannah Dau (Paullina, South O’Brien HS) I had four.

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Central had 12 steals and held Grinnell to 0-for-16 on shots from behind the 3-point line while hitting 11 of his 3-pointers. Lonning was confident that the shots would start to fall for the Dutch.

“We put in the time that I know, statistically, the next one is going to come in, so I want them to keep shooting and be ready to shoot,” he said. “I think early in the game, the ball gets out of hand too quickly, so we’re just trying to settle offensively but keeping the same high pace defensively.”

Lonning has installed a fast-paced, high-energy style of play and said he can see his young players’ belief grow that persistence will pay off.

“I think we were lucky that we had a couple of games for them to really understand that, hey, this is a long game and we want to be the one to wear the other team down,” he said. “I feel like they’re buying that.”

Offensive efficiency is also increasing.

“I loved our 20 assists, that’s something we haven’t had yet this year,” Lonning said. “We also take much better care of the ball.”

Central committed only 13 turnovers.

Guard kelsea hurley (senior, Scottsdale, Ariz., Desert Mountain HS) he had nine points, six rebounds and three assists, but missed his first free throw of the night. That was his first miss since February 16 of last season, giving him a streak of 23 in a row that tied a school record set by former Division III player of the year Emilie Hanson from March 2-November. . January 29, 1994. Hurley has already started his next streak, hitting all three of his subsequent free throw attempts.

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Central hits the road for their next four games, beginning with a non-conference contest next Tuesday in Jacksonville, Illinois against Illinois College at 5:30 p.m. .).

But Lonning is first looking forward to seeing her junior varsity players in their first contest against Grand View University on Thursday at 7 pm in the PH Kuyper Gym.

“It’s hard to practice and practice without a game, so I’m excited to get a lot of players a few minutes,” she said.