Allison Van Gorp

Freshman Allison Van Gorp had 11 points against top-ranked Hope Wednesday

ORLANDO, Fla. — Ending an 18-day layoff by taking on the top-ranked team in the NCAA Division III was not a recipe for success for the Central College women’s basketball team Saturday.

Competing in the Hope College RDV Orlando Tournament, the Dutch (2-6) were overwhelmed by No. 1 Hope College (Mich.) 98-42. It was Central’s most lopsided defeat since 2008.

“I’ve never seen so much size and speed,” coach Joe Steinkamp said. “We knew they were good but until you see them on the floor, you just can’t simulate it. They’re so good and so deep. You just have to give them a lot of credit.”

It was the 56th consecutive win for Hope (11-0), which exploded for a 27-2 burst to take a 31-7 lead after one quarter and cruised from there. It was 54-17 at intermission.

Center Allison Van Gorp (freshman, Pella, Pella Christian HS) had 11 points and a pair of blocked shots for Central.

“When we were able to get the ball to Allison she was pretty efficient but it was just difficult getting it to her,” Steinkamp said.

Guard Kassidi Steel (sophomore, New Sharon, North Mahaska HS) had a team-high eight rebounds and four assists.

Hope outshot Central 55.9% to 38.1% and held a 36-30 rebounding advantage.

“I was proud of how we competed,” Steinkamp said. “We were even on the boards in the first half and that was a big concern of ours going into the game. We were down six for the game but we can live with that.”

Ball security was Central’s biggest issue, with a season-worst 34 turnovers.

Central’s second game in the RDV Orlando Tournament, a Thursday contest with Illinois College, was canceled due to health and safety concerns. The Dutch are off until next Wednesday, Jan. 5, when they play host to No. 13-rated Wartburg College (8-2 overall, 2-1 conference) in an American Rivers game. It’s part of a women’s-men’s doubleheader tipping at 5:30 p.m. at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. A video webcast and live stats can be accessed via the Central athletics website at athletics.central.edu.

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