INDIANOLA—Central College delivered a stout defensive effort but turnovers again foiled hopes for a women’s basketball upset in a 72-59 defeat at Simpson College Saturday.
The Dutch (8-6 overall, 0-5 American Rivers) held Simpson’s up-tempo attack 12 points under its season average. But they committed 32 turnovers, many against full-court pressure, their second consecutive outing with plus-30 turnovers.
The Dutch took an 11-9 first-quarter lead but were outscored 23-13 in the second period and trailed by double-digits throughout the second half yet remained within striking distance.
“Even with so many turnovers, I thought we played a good game,” coach Joe Steinkamp said. “Outside of the second quarter, it was kind of an even game. We just kind of hung around. I was really impressed with how we defended, but in the end, the turnovers cost us. We gave up too much easy stuff.”
Guard Maci Gambell notched her first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds while forward Kendall Brown topped the scoring chart with 18 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots. She ranks 10th in the NCAA Division III with 3.2 blocks per game.
“We did a good job of feeding Kendall Brown,” Steinkamp said. “She’s having a great senior year. They had a tough time handling her once she got the ball inside. She’s just so strong.”
Guard Kelsea Hurley added 11 points with three 3-point buckets and forward Payton Rogers came off the bench to grab seven rebounds.
“It was nice to see the ball go through the hoop and a lot of players scoring,” Steinkamp said. “I just felt like the last couple days in practice we’ve been playing better.”
Central shot 45.1% from the field while limiting Simpson (11-3 overall, 3-2 conference) to 37.7%, but managed only 51 shots while allowing 69. Simpson held a 40-38 rebounding edge and put five players in double figures.
“I thought we were really disciplined defensively,” he said. “We helped off on the right people and we didn’t let their 3-point shooters get clean looks. That was the biggest thing. They’re a good 3-point shooting team.”
Simpson was just 6 of 26 from 3-point range.
Steinkamp said his young squad is heading in the right direction.