2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
PELLA—Central College recorded a school record nine blocks but it wasn’t enough to overcome a subpar defensive showing as the Dutch men’s basketball team sustained a disappointing home-court loss to Martin Luther College (Minn.) Friday, 86-74.
Forward Caleb Free and center Aaron Schultz combined for 51 points for the Knights (6-4), who were able to overcome 22 turnovers by knocking down 28 of 34 free throws. Martin Luther led by as many as eight points en route to a 44-38 halftime lead. Central (6-2) was able to get no closer than six points in the second half.
“Our defense wasn’t very good all night,” coach Mike Boschee said. “We had some silly turnovers early in the game and we were taking a lot of quick shots. We weren’t getting good ball reversals like we’ve been doing.”
Guard Miguel Ley (junior, San Antonio, Texas, Judson HS) had 21 points, three assists and three steals. Forward Loren Liming (junior, Ames, Gilbert HS) had13 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. Center Zach Cooper (junior, Johnston) had three blocks. Central was outrebounded 40-34.
There was some good news for the Dutch. Forward Grant Franzen (junior, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) returned to limited action for the first time since being injured in the season’s second game. He had two points in seven minutes of play.
Central comes back Saturday at 6 p.m. to meet Crown College (Minn.). The game is part of a women’s-men’s twinbill at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium with the Dutch women facing Martin Luther College (Minn.) at 4 p.m. Crown was blasted by Luther College