Monmouth escapes Central in overtime, 72-69

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Sophomore guard Annie Sarcone (Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) drained the clutch 3-pointer to send the Central College women's basketball team into overtime, but Monmouth (Ill.) College delivered in the extra minutes, handing the Dutch their first season loss Saturday, 72-69.

Monmouth erased Central's two-point lead at the three-minute mark in the second half with a 5-0 run. The Dutch called a timeout with 25 seconds left and Sarcone nailed the game-changer at 12 seconds.

"Annie was a spark," coach Mike Jacobsma said. "She's got some savviness to her and she was able to get us in a rhythm."

The Fighting Scots quickly slowed the Dutch momentum in overtime, scoring the first two baskets.

"You can't start overtime down four points," Jacobsma said. "You've got to come out fighting, especially in your home gym."

Forward AJ Baker (senior, Grinnell) hit a 3-pointer at the two-minute mark to knot the score 69-69. It remained tied until Monmouth's Kaley Corban knocked down her second 3-pointer of the night with 13 seconds left. That held up for the win.

"We did enough to take the game to overtime and had a chance at the end," Jacobsma said. "We just didn't execute. Everyone remembers the end of the game but it's the little things throughout the game that determine if you win or lose."

Central held a 42-40 rebounding advantage and shot 41 percent from the floor, including 33 percent behind the 3-point arc. But the Dutch committed a costly 27 turnovers.

"We talk about valuing the basketball and we just didn't do that enough," Jacobsma said. "We need to do a better job of boxing out and being strong with the basketball."

Sarcone posted a career-high as she and Baker led the Dutch with 16 points apiece. Forward Nicole Strasko (junior, Roland, Roland-Story HS) tallied 13 points and guard Sarah Paulson (senior, Ottumwa) recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

"The players are disappointed," Jacobsma said. "They expect to win. That's part of the change in culture."

Central (2-1) breaks for the Thanksgiving holiday and meets Knox (Ill.) College (0-2) at 6 p.m. Nov. 28 in Galesburg, Ill.