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Women’s basketball defeats Central College in first conference game

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Women’s basketball defeats Central College in first conference game

Erin Saemrow ('21) advances the ball to the net

Erin Saemrow ('21) advances the ball to the net

Jorge Contreras ('20) | Chips

Erin Saemrow ('21) advances the ball to the net

Jorge Contreras ('20) | Chips

Jorge Contreras ('20) | Chips

Erin Saemrow ('21) advances the ball to the net

Jorge Contreras, Staff Writer

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Luther Women’s Basketball won their conference opener against Central College 66-48 at Luther College’s Regents Center on Nov. 29.

Claire Marburger (‘19) led the team in scoring with 19 points. Katie Waller (‘18) scored 14 points. Sarah Holtz (‘20) and Madison Spence (‘20) chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively. The win gives Luther an overall record of 3-4, while Central falls to 2-3. The Norse held a 34-26 advantage at halftime and outscored Central 32-22 in the second half.

According to Marburger, Central was not an easy team to defeat because they have gone through some recent changes.

“Central is an interesting team,” Marburger said. “They have a new coach and different style of play so we couldn’t use what they have done in the past to prepare. Film gives us an idea of what they do, but we can’t get that full grasp until a few minutes into the game. It was a great win, a lot of fun, and exactly how we wanted to open conference play.”

Luther dominated the beginning of the game, scoring three consecutive 3-pointers  made by Waller and Anna Peterson (‘20). The first quarter ended with the Norse leading 24-16.

The second quarter began with two consecutive 2-point shots made by Spence and ended with a steal and another 2-point shot scored by Laura Hamilton (‘20). The quarter finished with Luther leading 34-26.

At the beginning of the third quarter, Holtz scored a 2-pointers. The quarter ended with the Dutch scoring just three points to bring the score to 52-33. The game ended with 14 more points for the Norse and 15 more points for the Dutch.

Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Senior Women’s Administrator, and NCAA Compliance and Eligibility Officer Amanda Bailey stated that this was an important win for the Norse to start the conference season.

“It was a big game for us,” Bailey said. “We have been playing an extremely challenging non-conference schedule that has prepared us to take on our conference schools. Our team is really coming together now and we are seeing the intensity increase on the floor as they become more comfortable playing with each other.”

Marburger echoed Bailey’s sentiments and added that the team was ready to win.

“The Central game was a very important game for us because we wanted to set the tone and get that win,” Marburger said. “We came out and set the tone right away going up 11-2, and we came out again in the second half the same way. It was great to have that energy and fire from the start.”

Waller said that the team has learned from their past games and are ready to play the most important games of the season.

“We’ve played several challenging opponents this year where the games haven’t necessarily gone in our favor,” Waller said. “But they were all making us ready for playing in conference, which are going to be the most important games of the regular season.”

Marburger explained that although they are facing difficult teams the season is going well.

“We have played some very tough teams and played with them the entire game,” Marburger said. “Our competitive schedule to start the season really helped to prepare us for conference play and the tough IIAC teams we play night after night. I’m excited for what the rest of the season holds for us.”

Waller emphasized that all the games are important and they cannot afford to lose them.

“Every game is challenging,” Waller said. “In the IIAC, we don’t have the opportunity to take any game off. We mentally prepare for every team the same way, ready to compete for a win.”

On Saturday, Dec. 2, the team also defeated Loras College 78-53 in Dubuque, Iowa.

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