2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
PELLA—Down by two points with less than a minute, forward Matt Greenfield (sophomore, Huxley, Ballard HS) sank a 3-point shot to carry the Central College men’s basketball team to a 61-58 win over the University of Dubuque Wednesday evening.
The Dutch (8-6 overall, 1-3 Iowa Conference) held a narrow one-point lead at halftime, and continued to battle the Spartans (11-4 overall, 1-3 conference) for the lead the rest of the night.
“Dubuque is a good team,” said coach Craig Douma. “They have good athletes and some big insides and size tends to give us a lot of problems.”
With eight minutes in regulation, the score was tied at 49, but three unanswered shots turned the score in Dubuque’s favor, 58-51 with 3:44 on the clock. With just 33 seconds left, guard Branden Stubbs (junior, Pleasant Hill, Des Moines Christian HS) found Greenfield open for the 3-point shot that put the Dutch back into the lead.
“It was a great assist by Stubbs,” said Douma. “It was an amazing find and a great shot. It wasn’t what we were looking for, but Dubuque didn’t give us the option we wanted, so Greenfield took the shot.”
Forward Nana Yaw Sapon-Amoah (junior, Huxley, Des Moines Christian HS) had a game-high 12 points, sinking five of six shots from the field. Guard Kevin Kaerwer (junior, El Paso, Texas, John L. Chapin HS) followed with 11 points. Greenfield contributed 10 points and seven rebounds. Center Jacob Winkler (senior, Lancaster, Mo., Schuyler R-1 HS) had a game-high eight rebounds.
“Amoah gave us a lift defensively,” Douma said. “Amoah as well as Eric Scott (senior, Adel, ADM HS) added a great defensive presence on the floor that really won us the game.
“Kaerwer played really hard tonight, too,” he said. “He had some tough shots, but he found a way to put them in.”
On Saturday, the men will face off against Loras College (5-10 overall, 0-4 conference) at Dubuque. The men’s-women’s doubleheader begins with the women’s game at 2 p.m. followed by the men’s at 4 p.m. Cory Houser of KRLS-FM (92.1) will provide the broadcast of both contests, which can also be heard at www.kniakrls.com or accessed through Central’s athletics website atwww.central.edu/athletics.
“We needed this win,” Douma said. “We found a way to win, and we need to take that momentum into the next game against Loras.”