2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
PELLA—Central College closed with a 15-3 run to outlast Coe College for a 62-50 Iowa Conference men’s basketball win Saturday.
Central, up 33-28 at halftime, quickly surged ahead 39-28 in the first four minutes of the second half. But Coe stormed back with a 15-1 spree for a 43-40 advantage at the 12-minute mark. The game was tied 47-47 with seven minutes left when the Dutch went on their winning run.
Central (11-3 overall, 4-1 conference) was outrebounded by the physical Coe squad 36-34, but forced 22 turnovers and limited the Kohawks to 34 percent shooting. Coe dropped to 3-11 overall and 1-4 in league play.
The Dutch got 14 points, four assists and three steals from guard Miguel Ley (senior, San Antonio, Texas, Judson HS) while forward Loren Liming (senior, Ames, Gilbert HS) had 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Forward Mark Holan (senior, Fontanelle, Nodaway Valley HS) and center Zach Cooper (senior, Johnston) each contributed three key steals.
But Central missed the outside shooting of guard Zach Madsen (senior, Fort Dodge, Saint Edmond HS). He was sidelined by illness and the Dutch hit just 1-of-11 from 3-point range. Central shot 43.6 percent overall.
“Coe’s a really good defensive team,” coach Mike Boschee said. “They’re a better team than their record shows. We knew we were going to have to grind it out. If you can get a ‘W’ in the Iowa Conference shooting 1-for-11 from 3-point range, you have to feel good. But I thought we hustled and made plays down the stretch.
“The thing I was most pleased with is I thought defensively we did a great job. Mark Holan made some big plays on defense that kept us in the game and helped win it for us down the stretch.”
While Central’s offense struggled at times, Boschee said the Dutch retained their poise.
“Miguel (Ley) made good decisions,” he said. “He was able to score when he needed to and dumped off when he needed to. He did a good job of finishing.”
The Dutch compete Wednesday at Mount Vernon in a league doubleheader with first-place Cornell College. The women’s game starts at 6 p.m. with the men’s game at 8 p.m. The Rams are unbeaten in league play at 4-0 and are 10-3 overall after a 60-56 victory over Luther College Saturday.