Former Catalina Foothills High School standout Austin Nehls, son of former Arizona Wildcats guard Joe Nehls, is putting together an impressive sophomore season for Central Connecticut State.
Nehls, who is averaging 14.1 points a game for the Blue Devils, made the go-ahead basket Sunday over Mount St. Mary’s, capping a 54-52 comeback victory. Central Connecticut (5-18 overall and 3-9 in the Northeast Conference) rallied from 15 down in the second half to snap the Mountaineers’ eight-game winning streak.
Nehls’ step-back 3-pointer from on top of the key gave the Blue Devils their first lead of the game, 50-49, with 1:17 left.
Kevin Seymour and Nehls each added a pair of free throws to make it 54-49 with 23 seconds left. Greg Alexander’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to two and Chris Wray’s steal gave the Mountaineers (12-13, 10-2) the ball back with a chance to tie in the final seconds.
But Elijah Long’s 3-point attempt missed and Wray was off the mark on two putback attempts. Wray nearly sank a desperation heave at the buzzer.
Nehls finished with 12 points.
He is also averaging 3.6 rebounds a game and shooting 38.7 percent from 3-point range.
As a senior at Catalina Foothills in the 2013-14 season, Nehls averaged 20.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He spent one season as a post-graduate at the Cheshire (Conn.) Academy before starting his career with Central Connecticut last season.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.