2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
STORM LAKE — Taking the inbound pass with nine seconds left in the game and Buena Vista University up by one, a last-ditch Dutch jumper bounced off the rim as time expired Saturday night and the Central College men’s basketball team suffered a 69-68 Iowa Conference loss.
Central (12-7, 5-6 conference) and Buena Vista (11-8, 7-3 conference) traded the lead six times in the game, including five changes in a hard-fought first period.
After Central opened up a 20-11 lead with 11:27 on the clock, the Beavers rallied, grabbing a 32-30 advantage at the 2:36 mark. A quick Central layup evened the score and junior guard KJ Cool (Chillicothe Mo., Newtown Harris R-3 HS) followed with a 3 pointer, putting the Dutch ahead. Guard Jack Bruns (junior, Story City, Roland-Story HS) hit a jumper in the final minute to send the Dutch into the locker room with a 37-32 lead.
Buena Vista kept the pressure on in the second half but the Dutch maintained the lead, opening up a nine-point advantage, 65-56, with five minutes remaining. The Beavers stormed back in the final minutes, firing off a 13-3 run at the 4:43 mark. With 1:19 left in the game, Buena Vista hit a jumper to take its first lead of the second period and the Beavers held off any last-minute Dutch magic.
Central had the better effort from the field Saturday, shooting an even 50 percent to Buena Vista’s 42.6, but struggled to control the ball. The Dutch had 16 turnovers while the Beavers had just seven.
Cool and senior forward Chris Lehman (Champaign Ill., Central HS) each had 12 points on the night. Junior forward Jacob Winkler (Lancaster Mo., Schuyler R-1) was the leading rebounder with six.
Central takes a break from Iowa Conference action when it plays host to Faith College (8-9) Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m. from P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. Live stats and video streaming will be available at www.central.edu/athletics.