2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
ROCK ISLAND, ILL. — No. 15-ranked Augustana College (Ill.) capitalized on an early offensive spark, handing the Central College men’s basketball team a 79-57 loss Wednesday night.
The Vikings (6-1) started with a 13-8 lead less than five minutes in and the Dutch (5-4) trained 39-27.
A 7-2 Central second-half run was ended with three straight Viking 3-pointers that sealed the win for Augustana.
“We were really hanging in there for a bit in the first half,” said coach Craig Douma. “And we battled at the beginning of the second by taking advantage of a lot of scoring opportunities, but Augustana had a spurt in the second half that we couldn’t get past.”
Central shot just 34.4 percent from the floor while Augustana hit 56.6 percent of shots from short range and 50 percent from behind the arc. The Vikings also held a 40-28 rebounding advantage.
Guards Kevin Kaerwer (senior, El Paso, Texas, John L. Chapin HS) and Fred Pratt (senior, Rosenberg, Texas, Lamar Consolidated HS) led the Dutch offense with 14 points each. Pratt also contributed six assists. Froward Matt Greenfield (senior, Huxley, Ballard HS) had a team-high nine rebounds and 13 points. Guard Nile Eckermann (junior, Cosgrove, Clear Creek Amana HS) was Central’s next top scorer with eight points.
Kevin, Fred and Matt all had nice nights,” Douma said. “Augustana is a tough defensive team and our team was working hard to find ways to score.”
The Dutch have a break for the holidays before returning to action in San Juan, Puerto Rico against Bridgewater (Va.) Dec. 28. Tipoff is to be determined.
“Augustana is a good basketball team,” said Douma. “They are one of the best teams we have played, but we weren’t there tonight. We are still making improvements to become a better team.”