INDIANOLA, Iowa – The Simpson men's basketball team surrendered one-too-many 13-point runs to get the result it was looking for against Central.
Leif Olson had a career game, but a 13-0 run early in the second half – Central's second of the game – proved costly in a 74-58 loss Wednesday night at Cowles Fieldhouse.
Olson scored a career-high 17 points on 8 of 15 shooting, the only Simpson player in double figures.
Nile Eckermann scored 18 points and went 4-for-8 from 3-point range for the Dutch (10-8, 3-4), who snapped a three-game losing streak. Kyle Newendorp had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Colby Taylor finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Down early in the first half, Simpson clawed back into the game by halftime and pulled within 40-39 on Dillon Gretzky's 3 with 15:19 left in the second half. Eckermann responded with a jumper and Central went on to score 13 unanswered, opening up a 53-39 lead.
One of the top 3-point shooting teams in the nation, Central made three 3s during the decisive run. After going just 2-for-11 from beyond the arch in the first half, the Dutch went 8-for-14 in the second.
The night began with a 13-0 run by Central, as Simpson failed to score until Good knocked down a pull-up jumper at the 15:32 mark. Good's make triggered a 14-3 run and Simpson went on to outscore Central 27-17 the rest of the half.
Olson tied the game at 20-all on a jumper with 5:32 left in the first and Simpson took its only lead of the game on a Gretzky free throw at the 4:12 mark. Newendorp gave the lead back to Central on a pair of free throws and the Dutch led the rest of the way.
Central came into the game averaging 10 made 3s per game, the ninth-most in Division III. After making just two in the first half, Central's eight makes in the second put it right at its average.
Simpson hosts Wartburg on Saturday, Jan. 31 as the second time through the league slate gets underway. The Knights (10-8, 3-4) lost to Loras 68-67 on Wednesday. Wartburg won the first meeting, 74-57 in Waverly on Jan. 17.