2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
PELLA—Central College men’s basketball forward Matt Greenfield (senior, Huxley, Ballard HS) has been named Iowa Conference male athlete of the week after averaging 30.0 points per game in two league contests, while men’s track and field distance runner Austin O’Brien (senior, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) was named men’s indoor track performer of the week after setting the school record in the 3,000-meter run at the Dutch Athletics Classic.
Greenfield nets 60—Greenfield scored a career-high 35 points on 11-of-21 shooting, including 7-of-10 from behind the 3-point arc and 6-of-6 from the free throw line, and grabbed nine rebounds in a 76-72 upset win over Buena Vista University Saturday evening at Storm Lake. The career night topped his previous best of 33 points scored at Bethany Lutheran (Minn.) Dec. 8, 2012 and is tied for 17th on the all-time single-game scoring list at Central.
It was Central’s first win at Storm Lake since 2007 and only its second in its last 17 tries at Siebens Fieldhouse.
Earlier, Greenfield recorded his seventh double-double of the season with game highs in points (25) and rebounds (16) in an 84-83 overtime win over Simpson College Wednesday night at Pella. The 16 rebounds were one less than his career-best 17 at Sacred Heart (P.R.) Dec. 29 and are tied for 16th on the all-time single-game rebounding list at Central.
Greenfield averaged 30.0 points and 12.5 rebounds in 36.0 minutes for the week and is now averaging 18.1 points and 9.4 rebounds this season.
It’s Greenfield’s first athlete of the week honor and second men’s basketball player of the week honor, with the first coming earlier this season following his performances in Puerto Rico.
Central faces Coe College Wednesday at 8 p.m. in P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.
O’Brien shifts to track, keeps winning—O’Brien was one of three Central men’s track and field athletes to win individual titles at Saturday’s season-opening Dutch Athletics Classic en route to 121 points and the team title. Central won the 10-team meet by 19 points.
O’Brien won the 3,000-meter run in 8:26.72, breaking the school record set by teammate Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) in 2012 by more than 10 seconds. O’Brien led a charge similar to that of the Iowa Conference men’s cross country championship where Central finished 1-2-3 individually. Horton finished second in 8:33.57, while Drew Jackson (junior, Johnston) and Isaac Steffensmeier (freshman, St. Paul, Fort Madison HS) finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
It’s the first men’s track and field performer of the week award for O’Brien, who was named Iowa Conference male cross country runner of the week on three occasions this season, the last following his MVP performance at the league cross country championship when he was named male athlete of the week as well.
The Dutch cross country team placed sixth at the NCAA Division III cross country championship as O’Brien earned All-America distinction after finishing 11th individually. He also earned all-Central Region distinction for his fourth-place individual finish.
Central travels to Waverly for the Wartburg Select meet Friday and Saturday.