2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
PELLA—Center Jacob Winkler (senior, Lancaster, Mo., Schuyler R-1 HS) had a game-high 15 rebounds and 14 points as the Central College men’s basketball team crashed the boards and cruised to an 82-66 victory over AIB Wednesday.
Central, which outrebounded AIB 57-29, placed four players in double digits. The Dutch got a team-high 16 points and 12 rebounds from forward Matt Greenfield (junior, Huxley, Ballard HS), 14 points from guard Branden Stubbs (junior, Pleasant Hill, Des Moines Christian HS) and 11 points from guard Kevin Kaerwer (junior, El Paso, Texas, John L. Chapin HS).
“Rebounding was the emphasis of the game,” Douma said. “We really limited their offensive chances and we’ve got to do that night in and night out.”
Central (5-3) raced to a 23-12 lead seven minutes in and widened the margin to 50-31 at halftime. AIB (0-13) made a 14-3 run to whittle the gap to 58-51 with just under 12 minutes remaining, but the Dutch regained command with a 6-0 burst.
Central hit a sizzling 63.6 percent from the floor in the first half, including four-of-eight from 3-point range.
“There wasn’t a lot of motion in the first half but we executed well,” Douma said.
Douma played the entire squad, with no player on the floor more than 30 minutes.
“Eric Scott (senior, forward, Adel, ADM HS) and Nana Yaw Sapon-Amoah (junior, forward, Huxley, Des Moines Christian HS) gave us a lift defensively,” Douma said. “And Greenfield did a good job with a tough assignment to guard the other team’s best player.”
Central limited AIB to 36.8 percent shooting but the Eagles forced 22 Dutch turnovers.
“We had a lot of opportunities in transition but tried to do too much with one pass,” Douma said.
The victory snaps a three-game losing skid, which impacted more than Central’s win-loss record.
“We lost our confidence,” Douma said. “We have to get a little string together and get our team chemistry and our confidence back before (Christmas) break. The only way to do that is by playing great defense.”
The Dutch meet Bethany Lutheran College (Minn.) Saturday in a men’s-women’s doubleheader. The women’s game is set to begin at 3 p.m. with the men tipping off at approximately 5 p.m. The Vikings are 2-4 with a week’s rest after a 62-55 loss to Wis.-Oshkosh last Saturday.