2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
OSKALOOSA—Central College forward Matt Greenfield (senior, Huxley, Ballard HS) led all players with 28 points, but the men’s basketball team was outpaced 92-67 by William Penn on the road Wednesday night.
The Dutch (3-3 overall) scored the opening basket, but the Statesmen (9-4 overall) used a 15-0 run over the next 4:51, pushed the lead to as much as 25 points and led by at least nine the rest of the way in their ninth consecutive win after opening the season with four straight losses.
William Penn separated itself on the boards with a 59-to-36 advantage and hauled in 27 on the offensive end, leading to 27 second chance points.
“It comes down to two things,” coach Craig Douma said. “We didn’t shoot well and we didn’t rebound well. Our defense held William Penn to 41 percent (shooting), but we didn’t execute in too many other areas.
“Those are things we emphasize in practice, but we need to figure out how to do them better.”
Greenfield notched his second 28-point performance of the season on 12-of-25 shooting and added a team-high seven rebounds. Guard Kevin Kaerwer (senior, El Paso, Texas, John L. Chapin) and forward Colby Taylor (freshman, Creston) joined Greenfield in double digits with 13 points apiece, both on 5-of-11 shooting. Kaerwer chipped in a team-high five assists, as well.
The Dutch struggled from behind the 3-point arc in the first half (1-of-16), but improved in the second (6-of-16) and played the closing frame within six points (47-41). Central also limited its turnovers to 10.
“We really battled in the second half,” said Douma. “We got some good looks and we took care of the ball, but we didn’t finish enough. Matt had another good game, but we need other guys to step up, too.”
Blake Walker led the Statesmen with 21 points, while three others were in double digits. It is William Penn’s second win over an Iowa Conference opponent in one week (def. Simpson 84-74).
The Dutch remain of the road for its fourth of eight consecutive away games when they take on Bethany Lutheran College (Minn.) (0-4 overall) at Mankato, Minn. Friday at 7:30 p.m. Last season Central withstood a furious Viking rally after leading by as much as 14 points for a 79-77 win at Pella.