2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
CEDAR RAPIDS—The Central College men’s basketball team saw a 31-23 halftime lead fade as Coe College fought back in the second half to secure a 56-46 win in the Iowa Conference season opener.
The Dutch (7-4 overall, 0-1 conference) trailed by just three points with 2:50 remaining in the second half, but a 7-0 push by the Kohawks (8-4 overall, 1-0 conference) in the final minutes sealed the loss.
Shooting 44.8 percent from the field in the first half, Central shot a chilly 18.8 percent from the field while Coe held the advantage in the second, hitting 42.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range. The Kohawks outshot the Dutch 33-15 after intermission.
“In the first half we were finishing well,” said coach Craig Douma. “We played great defense and our offense was doing okay. But we stopped finishing in the second and we couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities we were given.”
Guard Branden Stubbs (junior, Pleasant Hill, Des Moines Christian HS) had a team-high 13 points. Center Jacob Winkler (senior, Lancaster, Mo., Schulyer R-1 HS) added 10 points and eight rebounds to the team total. Forwards Nick Marinkovich (junior, Clarendon Hills, Ill., Hinsdale Central HS) and Matt Greenfield (sophomore, Huxley, Ballard HS) had eight and five points, respectively. Greenfield and Marinkovich each had seven rebounds.
Douma credits Coe for coming out strong in the second as well as a poor defensive presence for the Dutch loss.
“Defensively, we knew Coe would step it up a notch,” said Douma. “We couldn’t seem to play the way we did in the first half. We need to play for the full 40 minutes, and as a team we just didn’t connect the entire game.
“Offensively, we missed 10 layups and we couldn’t get the ball in the hole,” he said. “Coe was good at getting the ball inside. We had one look after another and we didn’t convert those chances into points.”
Central continues play on the road against Wartburg College Wednesday night. The game starts at 8 p.m. The Dutch narrowly defeated the Knights (6-5 overall, 1-0 conference) twice in 2012, 76-69 and 64-63.