Career high from Wildermuth leads Central in men’s basketball triumph

Central Dutch Athletics

Central Dutch Athletics

PELLA — Central College starting forward Malik Wildermuth (Normal, Ill., University HS) poured in a career-high 32 points in a 95-86 victory over Luther College Saturday evening in Pella.

Wildermuth was an efficient 13-of-20 from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.

“I was really happy with how Malik played tonight,” said coach Craig Douma. “He came out and made shots from the beginning and we rode him for a while. He got hot in the first half and kept it going throughout the game.”

Wildermuth’s fellow forward Kyle Smith (Grand River, New Hampton HS) had 20 points, including four 3-pointers.

“I thought Kyle played a really good game tonight,” said Douma. “He was active tonight and was able to knock down some good looks.”

Junior point guard Jamel McKnight (Austin, Texas, Hendrickson HS) started slow, scoring just three points in the first half before breaking out with a 14-point second half. McKnight finished with eight rebounds and five assists to accompany his 17 points.

“Jamel had another great stat line tonight,” said Douma. “He’s been a great second-half player for us lately.”

Freshman big man Caden Mauck (Lee’s Summit, Mo., Blue Springs South HS) had a near statistical double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds.

“I thought tonight was Caden’s best performance in a while,” said Douma. “He was extremely active on the glass and we found him rolling to the hoop for some easy buckets. He also did a great job knocking down 5-of-6 free throws.”

Central (10-13, 7-7 Iowa Conference) outshot Luther (5-18, 0-14 Iowa Conference) 53.1 percent to 42.6 but the Norse controlled the glass 40-31.

“I was happy with our offensive movement tonight, we were able to move the ball and get good looks,” said Douma. “We did a decent job of rebounding in the first half but got smoked in the second half. That’s something that we’re going to look to improve on from today.”

Next up for Central is a trip to Lincoln, Neb. for a women’s-men’s doubleheader with Nebraska Wesleyan University with the men beginning at 8 p.m. The Prairie Wolves won the first contest 99-86 December 6 in Pella. Last season in the league tournament, the Dutch upset the No. 1-seeded Prairie Wolves 85-63 in Lincoln.

“Nebraska Wesleyan is a really good offensive team but they’ve been playing great defense lately,” said Douma.

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Posted by on Feb 11 2018. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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