2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
EUREKA, ILL.—Central College rallied from a 10-point deficit and posted its fourth straight men’s basketball victory Saturday, defeating Eureka College (Ill.) 94-82.
With the score tied around the 13:30 mark, Eureka took off for 10 straight points. Guard KJ Cool (senior, Chillicothe, Mo., Newtown Harris R-3 HS) answered with a 3-pointer to end the run and the Dutch cut the margin to two points before regaining the lead for a 44-38 halftime advantage.
“Eureka (3-1) really hurt us on the glass, getting second or third chances,” coach Craig Douma said. “But our bench really came in and turned the game around with their defense and rebounding.”
Central’s reserves finished the game with 20 points. Cool, guard Jordan Cruse (senior, Mason City)and center Spencer Bakerink (junior, Creston) each had six points and Bakerink also had six rebounds.
“They really gave us a spark,” Douma said.
The Dutch held on to the lead in the second half and led by as much as 15 points. Central committed just one turnover in the second half, and had six for the game.
“We took care of the ball down the stretch and knocked down some free throws,” Douma said. “We were able to get Eureka out of rhythm and run the floor.”
Guard Branden Stubbs (junior, Pleasant Hill, Des Moines Christian HS) led the Dutch with a game-high 26 points and seven assists. Guard Nick Marinkovich (senior, Clarendon, Hills, Ill., Hinsdale Central HS) had 22 points while center Jacob Winkler (senior, Lancaster, Mo., Schuyler R-1 HS) had 14. Forward Matt Greenfield (junior, Huxley, Ballard HS) had nine rebounds.
“Branden didn’t come out of the game,” Douma said. “He played solid and really led us in the second half.
“Nick started the game out rough but persevered and really shot the ball well. He had some big 3’s in the second half.”
Central outshot Eureka 48 percent to 44.4 percent and shot 30.8 percent behind the arc. The Dutch were 14-for-17 at the free-throw line.
Central, which improved to 4-0, takes on William Penn University Wednesday in a 7:30 p.m. game at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.