Central completes 3-0 women’s basketball week

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PELLA—Topping the century mark for the first time in nearly eight years, the Central College women’s basketball team raced past Iowa Wesleyan University 101-68 Saturday.

That capped a 3-0 week for the Dutch (5-1).

It was over early as Central powered its way to a 29-7 first-quarter lead, extending it to 53-18 at intermission.

Forward Kendall Brown (senior, Moravia) had 23 points and two more blocked shots while guard Bri Smith (sophomore, Solon) had a season-high 13 and freshman guard Kelsea Hurley (Scottsdale, Ariz., Desert Mountain HS) had 11 with three assists.

“We knew we had a size advantage,” coach Joe Steinkamp said. “The players did a good job of getting the ball to Kendall down low and we gave her the ball without turning it over. I was really pleased with how we shared the ball.

Central shot 54.7% to Iowa Wesleyan’s 42.9% and outrebounded the Tigers 37-33. The Dutch had 25 assists and just four turnovers as Iowa Wesleyan skidded to 0-4.

It was Central’s third game in four days. The Dutch were coming off an 81-54 win at Bethany Lutheran College (Minn.) Friday night.

“We were a little worried, getting home at 1:30 a.m. this morning, “ Steinkamp said. “But I was really impressed with how hard we competed and the attention to detail we’ve had all week. Having 25 assists and just four turnovers is pretty hard to do regardless of who you’re playing.”

The big early lead allowed 15 Central players to see action.

“It was nice to get a lot of kids minutes,” Steinkamp said. “It was a fun game. Scoring 100 points was pretty cool, too.

“Our varsity went 3-0 this week and we went 2-0 in JV games. We talked about having a 5-0 week and it was fun that we did.”

Fun turns to a stern test Tuesday as the Dutch open American Rivers play with a women’s-men’s doubleheader at Dubuque against No. 22 Loras College starting at 5:30 p.m. The Duhawks (4-0) scored a pair of double-digit wins over Central last year. The Dutch then have to take on No. 3-rated Wartburg College at Pella Dec. 4.

“It will be fun to go against two nationally ranked teams,” Steinkamp said. “They’re both loaded.”