2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
CEDAR RAPIDS—Central College sprinted to an 18-point lead before settling for a 76-69 Iowa Conference men’s basketball win at Coe College Saturday.
Guard Miguel Ley (junior, San Antonio, Texas, Judson HS) racked up 22 points with six rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block. He’s scored 48 points in his last two games, getting 26 in a 79-53 victory over Simpson College Wednesday and upping his season average to 16.6.
“Miguel was solid again,” coach Mike Boschee said. “It’s nice to get his assist numbers up. That’s something he needs to continue to do, to be a playmaker for us.”
Meanwhile forward Mark Holan (junior, Fontanelle, Nodaway Valley HS) broke loose for a career-high 19 points with six rebounds.
“Mark has been shooting it a little bit better the last few games,” Boschee said. “If we can shoot from the perimeter like that, we’re going to be tough to beat.”
The two teams had clashed just one week earlier in Pella when Coe forced overtime before Central (11-7 overall, 5-4 conference) could pull out a 79-65 victory.
There wasn’t as much suspense Saturday, as Central hit a blistering 61.3 percent in racing to a 46-28 halftime lead. The Dutch were still up by 17 points with just 2 minutes remaining when some shaky Central free throw shooting allowed Coe (5-13 overall, 1-8 conference) to narrow the gap. Central’s field goal shooting cooled to 34.6 percent in the half and 49.1 percent for the game. The Dutch connected on just 12 of 23 free throws.
“We played real good basketball for about 30 minutes,” Boschee said. “I didn’t like how we finished. But our free throw shooting has been getting better, for the most part. We defended well and it was a good team win on the road.”
Forward Loren Liming (junior, Ames, Gilbert HS) notched his first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds while guard Justin Madsen (junior, Fort Dodge, St. Edmond HS) got back on track with 10 points. Center Zach Cooper (junior, Johnston) had eight points, 11 boards and four blocked shots.
“Loren played well,” Boschee said. “He and Zach are doing a nice job inside. They’ve worked really hard.”
Central held a 41-35 rebound advantage and limited Coe to 39.7-percent shooting.
After playing four games in eight days, Central doesn’t return to action until next Saturday when the Dutch play host to Buena Vista Univ., ranked No. 6 by D3hoops.com. It’s a women’s-men’s doubleheader at P.H. Kuyper Gym, with the women’s game starting at 2 p.m. and the men’s contest at 4 p.m. Central pushed Buena Vista to overtime at Storm Lake Jan. 10 before the Beavers escaped with a 72-71 win. The games will be broadcast on KRLS-FM (92.1) with a video Webcast and live stats available at www.central.edu/athletics.