2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
MANKATO, MINN. — The Central College men’s basketball team emptied the bench and unleashed a three-point shooting frenzy, hitting 14 shots from behind the arc to overpower Bethany Lutheran (Minn.) 96-64 Friday night.
Guard Nate Munn (freshman, Ames) led the Dutch (4-3 overall) charge with 19 points in just 19 minutes off the bench. Munn hit five of eight three pointers. With the Dutch down 11-2 in the first half, Munn came into the game and knocked down his first long-range shot within 10 seconds.
“Nate gave us the push we needed at the beginning of the game,” said Douma. “He came in off the bench and hit a three pointer. He gave us a lift and it was great to see him play so well off the bench.”
The shot was enough to jump start the Dutch offense. Central slowly chipped away at the Viking (0-5 overall) lead and were down 16-12 with 12:05 left in the first half, but the Dutch sprinted to the lead with a decisive 22-0 scoring streak. With just 6:07 remaining, Central overwhelmed Bethany Lutheran 33-16. The Dutch never lost the lead for the remainder of the game.
“We had a slow start to the game,” said coach Craig Douma. “But once we started attacking the paint, it was much easier for us to score points.”
Every member of the Dutch squad saw playing time and all but two tallied points. Guard Kevin Kaerwer (senior, El Paso, Texas, John L. Chapin HS) had 13 points and five assists. Guards Nile Eckermann (junior, Cosgrove, Clear Creek Amana HS) and Fred Pratt (senior, Rosenberg, Texas, Lamar Consolidated HS) each had 11 points. Pratt also contributed four assists.
In addition to a high scoring game, the Dutch pulled in 47 rebounds to Bethany Lutheran’s 24. Spencer Bakerink (center, senior, Creston) and Yaw Sapon-Amoah (forward, senior, Ghana, Africa, Des Moines Christian HS) had seven and six rebounds, respectively. Bakerink had six points while Sapon-Amoah had five.
“We had a great rebounding game,” Douma said. “That’s a good change from previous games. We had been struggling in that area, so it was nice to that turnaround. Spencer and Yaw did a great job pulling in the boards for us.”
The Dutch jump right back into action Saturday, facing Martin Luther (Minn.) at 4 p.m. in New Ulm, Minn.
“We played unselfish basketball tonight, “said Douma. “I hope to see the team build on their success tomorrow.”