Central can’t hold men’s basketball lead in Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NEV.—Cold shooting and a thinned front line dimmed early hopes for the Central College men’s basketball team which absorbed an 87-62 loss to New Jersey City University at the D3hoops.com Classic in late-night action Saturday at South Point Arena in Las Vegas.

The Dutch (4-7) used a 16-0 flurry to take a 27-18 lead with 7:17 left in the first half, , but forwards Caden Mauck (junior, Kansas City, Mo., Blue Springs South HS) and Keaton Rodgers (freshman, Peoria, Ariz., Sandra Day O’Connor HS) and back-up John Fuhr (sophomore, Macomb, Ill.) were saddled with fouls, forcing coach Craig Douma to improvise with a guard-heavy lineup. New Jersey City took advantage, drawing even at 38-38 at intermission.

“Caden got in foul trouble early,” Douma said. “John (Fuhr) came in and did a great job, but then he got in foul trouble. Tim Brunnert (freshman, Argyle, Mo., Fatima HS) did come in and played hard. But with our team makeup, we can’t afford foul trouble. That’s the first time this year we’ve had that happen.”

The Gothic Knights (5-6) quickly took command in the second half, using an early 14-0 run and coasting most of the way.

Fuhr fouled out midway through the second half while Mauck played most of the half with four fouls. New Jersey City was actually whistled for more fouls, 26-18, but Central’s lack of front-line depth was exposed.

“We had three freshmen on the floor a few times,” Douma said. “They battled.”

Meanwhile the Dutch, playing their second game in two nights, saw their shooting touch desert them. Central hit just 31.7% from the floor to New Jersey City’s 50.0%. The undersized Dutch lineup was outrebounded, 37-28.

“We really shot the ball poorly,” Douma said. “We had six or seven stops in a row at one point, but we just couldn’t score.”

Guard Adam Flinn (junior, St. Louis, Mo., Lafayette HS) had 19 points and four steals but was uncharacteristically scoreless from 3-point range while guard Sean Kostyk (junior, Cape Coral, Fla., Mariner HS) had 13 points. Kostyk was named to the all-tourney team.

Guards Marcus Ashford, Jr. (sophomore, Paris, Ky.) and Sam Beatty (freshman, Mount Pleasant) each had five rebounds. Guard Brady Johnson (freshman, Stanton) had three assists.

“One positive is that some different guys got experience and we saw how they responded,” Douma said.

Central returns to American Rivers play next week, with a women’s-men’s doubleheader Saturday, Jan. 4 against Coe College. The Kohawks are 6-5 overall and 1-1 in league play heading into a Jan. 2 contest at Buena Vista University.

The men’s game tips off at approximately 4 p.m. at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. A video webcast and live stats will be available at athletics.central.edu. The games will also be broadcast on KRLS-FM (92.1) and via kniakrls.com with Jon Mohwinkle calling the action.

But the Dutch will first get to spend Sunday in Las Vegas, many with their families, before returning to Pella.

“It will be good to have family time tomorrow,” Douma said.

Posted by on Dec 28 2019. 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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