2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
STORM LAKE—In an early-season first-place matchup, defending Iowa Conference champion Buena Vista used hot second-half shooting and a late 16-2 surge to hand the Central College men’s basketball team its first league loss Thursday, 77-68.
Central, which saw its six-game win streak snapped, dropped to 6-2 overall and 2-1 in the league. The Dutch led by as many as 11 points in the first half with a 24-13 advantage with 7:03 remaining but the gap was narrowed to 30-29 at intermission. Buena Vista (5-3 overall, 3-0 conference) then jumped to a 44-37 lead with 13:30 left in the game before Central rebounded, grabbing a 58-54 edge with 6:27 left. But the Beavers went on a 16-2 spree to take command 69-60 at the 2:09 mark.
“This is obviously a tough place to win, but we had an opportunity,” coach Mike Boschee said. “We just were not able to finish.”
Buena Vista shot 58.3 percent from the field in the second half, including 80 percent from 3-point range (4-5). The Beavers shot 52.1 percent from the floor for the game.
Boschee praised the defensive effort of forward Mark Holan (senior, Fontanelle, Nodaway Valley HS). He helped limit the Beavers’ leading scorer, Nathan Parker, to three points. But guards Kevin Osborn and Troy Ticknor combined for 30 points.
“Their guards hurt us,” Boschee said. “I was a little disappointed in our execution defensively. I didn’t think we were as good as we have been. Our defense is something we take pride in.”
That allowed Buena Vista to overcome another strong offensive night from Dutch guard Miguel Ley (senior, San Antonio, Texas, Judson HS). He recorded a game-high 23 points with three assists and two steals. Forward Loren Liming (senior, Ames, Gilbert HS) had 13 points and five rebounds while forward Jack Bruns (sophomore, Story City, Roland-Story HS) had six rebounds.
The game had originally been scheduled for Wednesday, but the recent snowstorm leaves the Dutch with a challenging three-game weekend. Central made the long trek back to Pella Thursday night, then takes off Friday afternoon for a 7:30 p.m. game against Martin Luther (Minn.) at New Ulm, Minn. That’s followed by a 5 p.m. Saturday contest against Crown College (Minn.) at St. Bonifacius, Minn. to close the team’s pre-Christmas schedule.