No. 18 Wartburg shuts down Central women

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Capitalizing on its size advantage, No. 18-rated Wartburg College stifled the Central College women's basketball team 73-33 Saturday.
Shots in the paint were scarce for the Dutch (6-13 overall, 2-8 American Rivers), with 29 of their 56 shot attempts coming from beyond the 3-point arc. But Central hit just a pair of 3's and shot 23.2 percent from the floor overall.
"Wartburg was really good defensively," coach Joe Steinkamp said. "When we did have good shots, we didn't shoot the ball well. The combination made for an unpleasant offensive day."
In the teams' earlier meeting at Pella, Jan. 5, the Dutch had pushed Wartburg (17-3 overall, 10-1 conference) to the limit, leading after three quarters before dropping a 51-43 decision. But Central couldn't keep the wraps on the Knights Saturday, trailing 15-8 after one quarter and 31-15 at intermission.
"It can be really hard to continue to hold a team down when they're playing in transition and not taking the ball out of the net after a made shot, which would allow us to get set up on defense," Steinkamp said.
"Wartburg played more up-tempo than the first time we played. It was a much faster game."
The Dutch failed to put a player in double figures but got eight points and eight rebounds from forward Kendall Brown (junior, Moravia). Forward Bri Smith (freshman, Solon) had seven points and guard Jenna Clark (freshman, Story City, Roland-Story HS) had three assists. Brown also had a blocked shot, her league-leading 56th of the season. She's five away from tying Tracy Wilson's 1992-93 school record.
"Kendall was Kendall," Steinkamp said. "When she was able to get the ball inside, she scored."
Wartburg dominated on the glass 46-30 and shot 43.4 percent from the field. Central was outscored in the lane, 34-16.
"We only had 14 turnovers, that's one of our lowest turnover totals of the season," Steinkamp said. "But that was one of the few bright spots."
Central plays host to Nebraska Wesleyan University Wednesday in a league women's-men's doubleheader at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium, starting at 6 p.m. Nebraska Wesleyan took a  9-9 overall record and 4-5 mark in the league into Saturday's game at Loras College in Dubuque. The Prairie Wolves topped Central 74-63 in Lincoln Nov. 28.
"They play an aggressive, pressing style," Steinkamp said. "We'll have to limit our turnovers and be better offensively than we were the first time and I think we will be."
The important thing is for the Dutch to keep moving forward, Steinkamp said.     
"We knew Wartburg would be a good team," he said. "We have to continue to stay positive, continue to develop and get better. We've got a big week ahead of us. We have a couple of games that if we could win, we could still get in the conference tournament."
Live stats and a video webcast of Wednesday's games can be accessed via