Hurley gets 22 in Central Women’s basketball road setback

GALESBURG, ILL.—Central College erupted for a 32-point second quarter but was stymied in the second half of an 89-73 Women’s basketball setback at Knox College (Ill.) Wednesday afternoon.

Guard Kelsea Hurley (senior, Scottsdale, Ariz., Desert Mountain HS) pumped in a season-high 22 points with four 3-pointers on 6-of-9 shooting. Guard Abby Johnson (sophomore, Ankeny) had 17 points.

Playing on short rest after a loss at Illinois College Tuesday night, the Dutch (2-4) absorbed an 8-0 flurry in the game’s first minute and 13 seconds and trailed 28-18 after one quarter. But Central hit a sizzling 77.8% of its second-quarter shots from the field to grab a 50-49 Halftime lead.

“It felt like we were getting stops and were able to transition and put some pressure on the defense,” Coach Moran Lonning said. “I thought we did a good job of attacking the rim and if we didn’t have a layup, we were able to kick out to shooters.”

Knox (3-1) scored the first four points of the second half and never trailed again as Central was limited to 23 second-half points.

“It was a tale of two halves in terms of rebounding,” Lonning said. “In the second half we allowed 15 Offensive boards and they got 16 second-chance points off of those. So I don’t think that losing by 16 was a coincidence.”

Central was outshot 43.6% to 41.9% and outrebounded 53-34. Guard Hannah dau (sophomore, Paullina, South O’Brien HS) had eight rebounds while Hurley grabbed six. Hurley and Dau each had three assists as well.

Lonning said she’s grown to expect offensive production from Hurley.

“I’m not as concerned about our offense,” she said. “I think we’ve got some really talented scorers. I’m more concerned about making adjustments defensively. I’m excited that Kelsea’s shot was falling but I was never worried about that.”

Central has yet another non-conference opportunity Saturday at Principia College (Ill.) in a 2 pm game at Elsah, Illinois. Principia is 3-1, edging Rockford University (Ill.) 58-57 Tuesday evening.

“We’ve just got to keep moving forward and keep adjusting,” Lonning said. “And trying to stay true to our identity through all this.”

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