Balanced scoring leads Central women to road win at Fontbonne

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Central College put five players in double figures and snapped a seven-game women's basketball losing skid with a 75-70 victory at Fontbonne University (Mo.) Saturday.
Guard Kristin Hubert (senior, Hornick, Woodbury Central HS) dropped in 17 points while center Kendall Brown (junior, Moravia) added 14, guard Maci Gambell (freshman, Hedrick, Pekin HS) had 13, guard Jenna Clark (freshman, Story City, Roland-Story HS) had 12 and guard Bri Smith (freshman, Solon) had a season-high 11. Clark was the top rebounder with five and guard Mary Faulkner (junior, Glendale, Ariz., Sunrise Mountain HS) had five assists.
"It was a good team win," coach Joe Steinkamp said. "We had our highest point total of the year. We had a good mix of contributions from the starters and the players coming off the bench gave us a nice lift."
After a long stretch of shooting struggles, the Dutch (3-7) hit 48.1 percent from the floor including a productive 47.6 percent from 3-point range (10-21). Central committed 22 turnovers but outrebounded Fontbonne 35-33.
One key to the offensive flow was Brown's post play, Steinkamp said.
"Kendall had a nice game," he said. "She controlled the paint and the guards did a really good job of feeding her on some high-low plays. And she attracted so much attention that it allowed our shooters to get open. When we go inside and outside, it makes us tough to guard."
Steinkamp was encouraged to see three Dutch freshmen in double figures and two, Gambell and Smith, did so from off the bench.
"I thought Bri (Smith) had her best game Wednesday (at Coe College) and she followed it up with an even better game today," he said.
Central bolted to a 30-19 lead with 6:51 left in the first half, only to let Fontbonne (3-4) go on an 18-4 streak and trailed 37-36 at intermission. The Dutch quickly regained the advantage in the third quarter and were up 60-57 at the end of the period. Fontbonne closed to 69-67 with 2:44 remaining but then Central got what Steinkamp termed the play of the game. Following a missed free throw with 1:50 left, Smith snagged the offensive board and scored on a putback.
 "That was a real big momentum play," Steinkamp said.
A Hubert 3-pointer at the 44-second mark iced the win.
"You could tell Kristin wanted to take that shot and she knocked it down with confidence," Steinkamp said. "It was a high-pressure situation and she really came through."
Steinkamp liked the poise his young club displayed.
"We showed some toughness in the second half," he said. "We kept making plays whenever they got close. Fontbonne played well. They hit 10 3-pointers but we were able to withstand it."
Central breaks for fall semester exams before closing out its non-conference slate against Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m. The Tigers are 1-6 after Saturday's 70-52 loss at Spalding University (Ky.). Second-year head coach Jack Bruns is a 2011 Central graduate and was a three-year letterwinner for the Dutch men's squad.
"We'll take some time off for exams but we'll also get some good practice time," Steinkamp said. "We can work on getting better and not focus on an opponent. It will be a really good time to just get back to fundamentals and get back to work."