Luther stymies Central women, 66-40

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Luther College put the clamps on the Central College women's basketball team 66-40 Saturday.
It was a day of offensive frustration for the young Dutch (6-9 overall, 2-4 American Rivers Conference) who hit just 10 of 59 shots from the floor. League co-leader Luther (6-7 overall, 5-1 conference) shot 38.2 percent.
"Luther's got a lot of length and they're a really good defensive team," coach Joe Steinkamp said. "That being said, I thought that the times we did break the press we got some good shots at the rim and had some open 3's, but we were not able to capitalize on any of them.
"We'd won four of five coming in and we defended at a pretty high level, we just couldn't get any offense."
Freshman guard Maci Gambell (Hedrick, Pekin HS) had a late surge to finish with a game-high 15 points. Freshman guards Bri Smith (Solon) and Jenna Clark (Story City, Roland-Story HS) each had six.
"Maci had a nice game," Steinkamp said. "She had some physical drives and knocked down a couple 3's."
The Dutch were strong on the glass, holding a 49-48 rebounding advantage as forwards Payton Rogers (sophomore, Moravia) and Sami Craig (sophomore, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) each had eight boards. Central had 18 offensive rebounds.
"Payton Rogers continued to give us productive minutes off the bench," Steinkamp said.
But the Dutch trailed wire-to-wire, falling behind 17-11 after one quarter, 31-18 at intermission and 39-24 after three periods. Central committed 24 turnovers.
"We held Luther to 39 points after three quarters, we outboarded them and we got to the line, you'd think we would be in position to win the game," Steinkamp said. "Offensively we need to get a lot better."
Wednesday Central is home against Simpson College in a women's-men's league doubleheader starting at 6 p.m. at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. Live stats and a video webcast can be accessed at
Simpson was off Saturday and is 12-3 overall with a 4-2 conference mark. Simpson swept Central last year.
"They're very similar to Luther, they're a very good pressing team," Steinkamp said. "But they play zone defense instead of man-to-man like Luther does. They've also got one of the best players in the league in Jenna Taylor. We've got to figure out a way to slow her down."
Steinkamp said the Dutch just need to look ahead.
"We can't dwell on this," he said. "We've just got to continue to find ways to get better and play with confidence."