2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
NEW ULM, MINN.—Four Central College men’s basketball players reached double-digit point totals in a 95-67 rout over Martin Luther College (Minn.) Saturday evening.
Forward Matt Greenfield (senior, Huxley, Ballard HS) led the Dutch (5-3 overall) with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting and added nine rebounds, while guard Nate Munn (freshman, Ames) continued his stellar weekend with 17 points on 5-of-8 from behind the 3-point arc. Munn averaged 18.0 points over the past two games after averaging 5.7 points over the first six games this season.
“Matt stepped up for us in the second half,” coach Craig Douma said. “He had a tough defensive assignment and he performed. Nate is a very capable shooter, especially from (3-point range), and we did a great job finding him when he was open. He had a great weekend.”
Guards Nile Eckermann (junior, Cosgrove, Clear Creek Amana HS) and Kevin Kaerwer (senior, El Paso, Texas, John L. Chapin HS) also finished in double digits with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Kaerwer also added seven rebounds and a team-high six assists, tying with guard Fred Pratt (senior, Rosenberg, Texas, Lamar Consolidated HS), who finished with nine points, four rebounds and the six dimes. Center Spencer Bakerink (senior, Creston) hauled in a season-best 12 rebounds and chipped in eight points.
“Fred played a great game,” said Douma. “He got to the rim, was smart when he got there and gave us a big lift. Spencer was all over the boards tonight. He attacked on the offensive end, posted up strong and it paid off.
“In order for us to be successful as a team, we need this type of output across the board.”
The Dutch shot 46.1 percent from the field (35-of-76), 46.4 percent from behind the arc (13-of-28) and won the battle of the boards with 54 rebounds to Martin Luther’s 39. Ten Central players scored, while 14 saw minutes.
Central played stifling defense, holding the Knights (0-6 overall) without a 3-point make (0-of-4) and below 40 percent from the field (31-of-78), all while committing only 12 fouls.
“The second half was the difference in the game,” said Douma. “We were aggressive on the boards, especially on the offensive end, and we shot the ball well. It was definitely a team win.
“It was a good night and good weekend.”
It is Martin Luther’s third loss to an Iowa Conference opponent in five days. The Knights lost 108-55 at Buena Vista Tuesday, while Wartburg was a 78-60 winner Friday night at New Ulm.
Central plays its final nonconference game in the contiguous United States Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Augustana (Ill.) at Rock Island, Ill. The two teams last met Dec. 11, 2002, a 104-75 win for the Vikings (5-1 overall). Augustana has two wins over Iowa Conference schools this season, topping Simpson 87-53 Nov. 24 and edging Loras 67-65 Dec. 4.