Despite a 16-0 scoring run in the first half that gave them a 15-point lead at the intermission, the Central men still had to stave off a furious Cornell rally in the final minutes to secure a 77-70 home victory.
Four members of Central’s starting five scored in double figures, but it was sophomore KJ Cool who came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points. Cool struck with deadly efficiency from outside, shooting 6-for-8 from the field, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Chris Lehmann had a team-best 6 rebounds, while Jack Bruns dished out 5 assists.
The game probably wouldn’t have been close, had it not been for the second-half effort from Cornell’s J. Ryan Lott, who scored 21 of his 28 points after halftime. Still, the Dutch were able to use clutch free-throw shooting from Bruns and Demarco Turner to ice the victory.
The win evened out both records for Central, as the Dutch improved to 7-7 overall and 3-3 in the Iowa Conference. Central travels to the University of Dubuque on Monday to face the Spartans.