Late run too late for Centre women

December 09, 2004|HAL MORRIS

Since she's starting three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior, Centre coach Jennifer Ruff-Osborne expects her team to make mistakes.

She just wants to see how they respond. And she has to be pleased with the way her Colonels finished Wednesday.

After being down 30 points late in the game, Centre closed on an 18-2 run to make things close in a 53-40 loss to Transylvania.

"I thought we did a much better job in the second half. We got 16 turnovers in the first half and we should only be having that in a game," Ruff-Osborne said. "In the second half we did a much better job handling the ball and finding open people, and causing them to turn the ball over a bit and converting off that."


The final run was keyed by freshman Monica Vonderbrink. The former Danville High School player drilled a 3-pointer off a pass from Chelsea Brown and had 10 of her game-high 16 points during the run.

"Once Jayme (Davis) got hurt, I figured I needed to step up and shoot, because she's one of our main scorers," said Vonderbrink, who was 6-for-10 from the field and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. " The team started to realize what was going on, and we got back into it."

Davis, a freshman, twisted her ankle 20 seconds into the second half, but later returned.

After her 3-pointer stopped a 17-0 Transy run, Vonderbrink scored inside and went the length of the court for another basket and free throw to finish her own 8-0 run that cut the Pioneers' lead to 52-30.

Sarah Sheeran converted two foul shots and hit a basket, Vonderbrink had a fast break goal, and Casey Geiman and Davis each hit a pair of foul shots during the closing run.

One word was key to the run.

"Patience. The first half we were running around and were a little anxious," Vonderbrink said. "I think our halftime talk calmed us down. We regrouped and came out and played a little slower, and that's our game."

Centre (2-6) was 5-for-8 during the spurt and finished 14-for-41 from the floor. The Colonels also connected on 11 of 16 foul shots. Sheeran had eight points and seven rebounds and Geiman led Centre with nine boards.

On the defensive side, the Colonels held Transylvania to a 24 of 66 shooting from the field. In the second half, the Pioneers were 9-for-31 and missed 10 straight shots during Centre's run.

"I was real pleased that we held them to 53 points. They've been scoring in the high 70s every game, and in that respect I thought we did a really good job," Ruff-Osborne said. "We just waited too long."

Too many turnovers

As well as Centre played at the end of the game, the first 20 minutes couldn't have been much worse.

Transylvania's press forced 16 Centre turnovers that led to 14 points. For the game, Centre had 28 turnovers compared to six assists.

Tied 8-8, Transylvania (6-1) forced seven Centre turnovers during a 10-0 run that pushed the lead to 18-8 with 6:44 left in the half. The Pioneers' pressure helped them close the half on a 10-2 run to take a 32-15 lead.

"I thought we wore them down. When your pressing every once in a while you'll hit a 10-0 spurt," Transylvania coach Mark Turner said. "We kind of got them disorganized two or three times where they came down and thought they had open passes to the post, and we got a lot of deflections and then we were able to run the lanes and score off that."

While Centre had just four fewer turnovers in the second half (12), the Colonels didn't make the same errors continuously.

"We kept making the same mistakes over and over and over (in the first half)," Ruff-Osborne said. "The other thing is, we didn't do a good job of boxing out, controlling their offensive rebounds. So those put together, it probably shouldn't have been as close a score as it was."

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