ELSAH, Ill. — Failing to carry any momentum from a tournament title at Illinois College over the weekend, the Central College men’s basketball team stumbled 69-63 at Principia College (Ill.) Tuesday.
The Dutch (2-3) trailed most of the way but held a 61-60 lead with 2:21 left, only to see Principia (1-2) knock down back-to-back 3-point baskets to snatch the win.
“We just didn’t play well offensively,” coach Craig Douma said. “It was a big-time lesson for us. The team that showed up tonight won. They outplayed us and they outhustled us. This was a really disappointing loss.”
Central struggled on the offensive end, hitting just 36.8% from the floor to Prinipia’s 46.2%. The Dutch did hold a 37-31 rebounding advantage but committed 16 turnovers.
Forward Caden Mauck (5th-year, Kansas City, Mo., Blue Springs South HS) had 17 points and six rebounds while forward Sam Beatty (junior, Mount Pleasant) added 15. Guard Kole Tupa (sophomore, Center Point, Center Point-Urbana HS) had four assists and three steals.
“We have to win with defense but we were just a step slow all night,” Douma said. “As a coach I’ve got to do a better job of preparing the team to play.”
The Dutch have some time to work the kinks out as they’re off until Friday, Nov. 26 when they host the Central Classic, taking on NAIA foe Hannibal-LaGrange University (Mo.) in a first-ever meeting at 6 p.m. at P.H. Kuyper Gym before meeting Northland College (Wis.) the following day. Hannibal-LaGrange is 1-5 heading into a pair of exhibition games before coming to Pella.