Erin Gerke turned in a career-high 23 points to lead four starters in double figures and help the Buena Vista women's basketball team secure its first American Rivers Conference victory of the year with an 85-61 home victory over Central College on Wednesday night.
Gerke was 7-of-15 from the field and also made a career-best seven free-throws. Morgan Muhlbauer chipped in with 12 points, four assists and four steals while Holly Schneider added 12 points and three assists. Jenn Poots made her second straight start and registered a seson-best 10 points and matched a career-best with six rebounds.
The Beavers held a 19-17 lead after the first quarter and began to pull away in the second, using a 16-8 surge to begin the quarter and build its first double-digit lead and eventually take a 42-29 lead into the half.
Defensively, BVU forced 26 Dutch turnovers in the game, and used that stingy defense in the second half to pull away. Muhlbuaer hit a jumper to start the second half and give the Beavers a 15-point cushion, and Central (7-15, 3-9 A-R-C) was unable to get any closer than 12 the rest of the contest.
The team shot 49 percent from the field overall and did alot of work at the charity stripe by making 20-of-24 attempts. The Dutch, meanwhile, made just 17 trips to the line and made 10.
The win snaps BVU's 10-game overall losing streak and gives head coach Dana Christen her first career conference win. The Beavers, now 6-17 overall (1-13 A-R-C) will close out their home schedule on Saturday afternoon by hosting the University of Dubuque at 2:00 p.m.