Spartans Overcome Turnovers to Survive Pesky Dutch

Jan 8, 2015


DUBUQUE, Iowa – A slew of late turnovers nearly gave Central their first win over the Spartans in Head Coach Mark Noll’s tenure, but four clutch free throws by Kayla Springer sealed the 58-55 win for the University of Dubuque women’s basketball team on Wednesday in their Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) opener.

Sporting an eight point lead with 4:13 remaining, the Dutch (9-3, 0-1 IIAC) rattled off six straight in the ensuing two minutes to cut the lead to two. Springer calmly sank two from the foul line at the 1:08 mark as Central responded with a jumper and a free throw make. Springer’s final two makes provided the final three-point margin as Central’s three-pointer at the buzzer fell well short.

The Dutch couldn’t capitalize at the charity stripe after entering the double bonus with over 11 minutes to go in the game. Central would finish 12 of 21 in the second half and 18-for-32 (56.3%) for the game.

The Spartans (7-5, 1-0 IIAC) put an end to Central’s three-game winning streak for their 15th straight win in the series. Senior Jenna Kotas was a key cog in the victory for the Spartans as they rumbled out to a 36-24 halftime advantage thanks to her 14-point contribution. It wasn’t easy as Coach Noll sent in Molly Richardson off the bench after a plethora of turnovers sliced the Spartan lead to one with under 4:30 remaining. Kotas and Richardson went to work and scored the Spartans last 15 points of the half. Richardson provided instant offense after she canned her first three shots, all three-pointers, and finished the game with a season-high 11 points.

UD finished with 26 turnovers that included 16 in the second half. It was their second-highest total of the season and most in a win.

Kotas scored a game-high 23 points with seven rebounds as Springer added nine points and five boards. Central's Vander Molen tallied a team-high 19 points and was their only double-digit scorer.

The Spartans resume their rugged IIAC slate in Stoltz against Wartburg (9-3, 0-1 IIAC) this Saturday, January 10 at 2:00 p.m. Wartburg dropped their IIAC opener to Luther, 68-59.