Returning to their home floor at Kuyper Gymnasium wasn’t enough to stop the recent Iowa Conference slide for the Central College basketball teams, as Luther College bested the women 80-63 and held off the Central men 67-61.
In the women’s contest, the Dutch trailed the Norse just 36-35 at halftime, and briefly claimed a lead in the second half, but Luther quickly regained an advantage it would never relinquish and put the game out of reach midway through the final 20 minutes of play.
Sarah Paulson led Central with 15 points in the loss, and Pella native Kelsey Schuring added 11. It’s been a tough conference slate for the Central women, who – despite playing competitively in each contest – are 0-8 against league opponents and 5-12 overall.
In the men’s contest, the Dutch were able to overcome a 17-point deficit, and had a shot to tie the game in the final seconds, but came up short in the six-point loss to the Norse. Jacob Winkler led Central’s offense with 20 points, as one of three Central players with 10 points or more.
Luther is now the only Iowa Conference men’s team with one loss, as they improved to 7-1 in league play. Central drops its third straight after a 12-1 start to the season and is now 5-3 in the league. Last night’s loss was the first of the season at Kuyper Gymnasium for the Central men.
Both Central basketball squads have a chance to avenge disappointing losses at the University of Dubuque last weekend, as the Spartans make the trip to Pella on Saturday.