A long bus ride to Dubuque felt a little longer on the way back for the Central College women’s and men’s basketball teams, as the Dutch were dealt respective 62-60 and 72-54 setbacks by the University of Dubuque on Saturday.
Central got out to a strong start in the women’s game, taking an early 10-0 lead and holding a 30-26 margin at halftime. The Spartans slowly chipped away at the Dutch lead, though, relying on the inside-outside combination of forward Heather Taylor and guard Mollie Whiting to take their first lead of the game nearly five minutes into the second half.
From there the game see-sawed back-and-forth, and a missed free throw in the final seconds gave Central’s Cory Bacon a chance to win the game, but the shot caromed off the rim and Dubuque closed the game with a final free throw. Nicole Strasko led Central with 13 points and 7 rebounds, while the aforementioned Whiting had 17 points to lead the Spartans. Their first Iowa Conference victory again eluded the Dutch, as they slip to 5-10 overall and 0-6 in league play.
In the men’s game, Central found itself in an early 11-2 hole, and despite making several runs throughout the afternoon, could never overtake Dubuque on the scoreboard. The Dutch struggled to put the ball in the basket, particularly from beyond the three-point arc, where they were just 3-of-19 for the game. In all, Central shot 30 percent from the floor – well below their season average of over 44 percent.
Jack Bruns scored 13 hard-earned points to lead the Dutch, while Chris Lehmann pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds in the loss. The defeat snapped an impressive 11-game win streak for the Central men, and gives Dubuque sole possession of first place in the Iowa Conference, as the Spartans improved to 6-0, while Central slips to 5-1.
Both the Central College women’s and men’s basketball teams are in for a busy week coming up, that includes three Iowa Conference games, starting with a trip to Simpson College on Monday.