Defense delivers for Central women’s basketball road win

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DUBUQUE—Another scrappy defensive effort finally translated into an American Rivers win for the Central College women’s basketball team Wednesday 59-46 at the University of Dubuque.

And the Dutch (9-6 overall, 1-5 conference) did it with dominating post presence Kendall Brown (senior, Moravia) limited to just over 16 minutes of action due to foul trouble. Brown is the league’s leading shot blocker.

“I’m proud of the team for being able to sustain a high level of defense and rebounding with her on the bench,” coach Joe Steinkamp said. “One of (Dubuque’s) strengths is that it’s a team that goes to the offensive glass so hard and we were able to limit their second chances. It was a total team effort. Everybody helped out.”

The Dutch held a 43-30 rebounding advantage, including a 19-10 edge in offensive boards. They were especially stingy in the second quarter, holding the Spartans to eight points on 27.3% shooting in taking a 29-19 halftime lead. Dubuque inched as close as 48-42 with 6:08 left in the game, but Central put it away with a late 11-2 burst.

Guard Maci Gambell (sophomore, Hedrick, Pekin HS) had a game-high 16 points and six rebounds for the Dutch while Brown still managed 10 in limited minutes. Freshman guards Carson Fisk (freshman, Searsboro, Lynnville-Sully HS) and Kelsea Hurley (freshman, Scottsdale, Ariz., Desert Mountain HS) each had 10 as well. Fisk and guard Emily Hay (junior, Stanwood, North Cedar HS) each had seven rebounds while Hurley had five assists.

“Maci (Gambell) was able to spread the floor with her shooting,” Steinkamp said. “We didn’t hit a ton of threes (six), but we really hit some timely ones.”

Central shot 37.5% to 36.7% for Dubuque (5-9 overall, 1-5 conference).

Steinkamp also cited the effort off the bench by forward Payton Rogers (junior, Moravia). She had eight points and six rebounds in handling the post in place of Brown.

“I thought Payton really gave us some effective minutes,” he said. “She provided a lot of energy and was active on the boards, as she always is.”

After three consecutive road games the Dutch are home Saturday, meeting Nebraska Wesleyan University in a women’s-men’s twinbill at 2 p.m. at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. Nebraska Wesleyan is 5-9 overall and 2-5 in the league after dropping an 86-60 home-court decision to Coe College Wednesday night. A video webcast and live stats can be accessed via athletics.central.edu. The game will be broadcast on KRLS-FM (92.1) and through www.kniakrls.com with Jon Mohwinkle calling the action.

“It will be good to get back home and get ready for Nebraska Wesleyan,” Steinkamp said.