2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
NEW ULM, MINN.—The Central College men’s basketball team dominated the second half, outscoring Martin Luther College (Minn.) 29-6 in the final 11 minutes en route to an 82-58 win Friday night.
Only leading 53-52 with 10:51 to play, the Dutch held the Knights (1-7) to just one 3-pointer in the final minutes. After a rough first half, Central (7-3) head coach Craig Douma welcomed the change of pace.
“We struggled offensively in the beginning,” he said. “We didn’t get a lot of time to warm up. We couldn’t concentrate and we couldn’t seem to finish any of our shots. But all of a sudden, we started to finish. Within just five or six possessions we were ahead by 20.”
Central outshot Martin Luther 45.7 percent to 31.3 percent from the field. Behind the arc, Central downed 41.7 percent in the second half.
“We had such a big second half,” said Douma. “Solid shooters led us to that huge lead. We did such an excellent job of staying with it until the end.”
The Dutch had five players score double digits. Forward Matt Greenfield (sophomore, Huxley, Ballard HS) and guard Branden Stubbs (junior, Pleasant Hill, Des Moines Christian HS) had 17 points each. Greenfield added eight rebounds while Stubbs had 10 assists. Center Jacob Winkler (senior, Lancaster, Mo., Schulyer R-1 HS) shot 50 percent from the field and scored 16 points and had 11 rebounds.
Guard Kevin Kaerwer (junior, El Paso, Texas, John L. Chapin HS) had 13 points and forward Nick Marinkovich (junior, Clarendon Hills, Ill., Hinsdale Central HS) added 12 points.
“Kevin (Kaerwer) had back-to-back 3-pointers and some big steals at the end,” Douma said. “He really helped to pick up the defense. Branden (Stubbs) and Nick (Marinkovich) also had great games and helped us control our defense.”
The game closed Central’s pre-Christmas schedule. The Dutch return to action against Coe College (4-3) in their first Iowa Conference match-up Jan. 5 at 4 p.m. in Cedar Rapids.