The Buena Vista men's basketball team is still tied atop the Iowa Conference standings with just five regular season games left, but it's main focus heading into Wednesday night is to avenge a lopsided road loss to Wartburg College earlier this month.
Who: Wartburg (12-7, 5-5 IIAC) @ Buena Vista (15-5, 8-3 IIAC)
When: Wednesday, January 31 * 8:00pm
Where: Siebens Fieldhouse * Storm Lake, Iowa
Radio Broadcast: 97.5FM KBVU
Live Webstream: http://portal.stretchinternet.com/bvu/
Live Stats: http://www.bvuathletics.com/sports/mbkb/2017-18/boxscores/20180131_y3kx.xml
-- Buena Vista ranks fifth in Division III in three-point shooting this season (41.6 percent)
-- The Beavers had their worst three-point shooting night of the year in the first meeting with Wartburg (6-of-32; 18.8 percent)
-- BVU has won three of its last four home games.
-- BVU is 25-of-46 from downtown over its last two home games
-- Seven players are averaging better than 8.0ppg for the team this season
About Wartburg: The Knights have dropped three straight games entering Wednesday night, but two of those were to the hands of Loras and Nebraska Wesleyan who are both tied atop the Iowa Conference standings. Jaran Sabus leads the team in scoring and is also ranked 10th in the IIAC. He's shooting over 55 percent from the field and better than 57 percent from downtown. He's also the team's leading rebounder at 5.8rpg. Nate Woeste is right behind in scoring at 11.4ppg, is second in rebounding (5.2rpg) and the top free-throw shooter at 84 percent. Sawyer Herman is the third player scoring in double figures for the year (11.2ppg) and is second in three-point buckets with 38. Sabus and Woeste were both Honorable Mention accolades for the team a year ago. As a team, the Knights rank sixth in the IIAC in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, ninth in free-throw percentage and seventh in turnover margin.
The team is one of the best defensive teams in the league, allowing a league-low 73.0ppg overall. It's also tops in field goal defense (43 percent), second in three-point field goal defense (32.5 percent) and fifth in steals (6.05spg). Over the last three games, however, the team has allowed nearly 98.0ppg.
About BVU: Buena Vista returns back to Siebens Fieldhouse after going 1-1 over a pair of road games last week. The team closed the week out with a 93-81 victory at Central and managed to end the day back in a three-way tie atop the IIAC standings. After matching a season-low with 65 points at Coe on Wednesday, the Beavers got back on track with their sixth 90-point game during IIAC play. It's been a balanced offensive attack all season for the team with all five of its starters averaging at least 8.5ppg, led by David Jeffries, who also ranks 13th in conference play at over 14.0ppg. He's shooting better than 54 percent from the field in conference play and is also ranked in the top-10 in rebounding and steals. Thomas Wisecup is second on the team in scoring and sits seventh in the league in rebounding and fifth in assists. Billy Sparks ranks 15th nationally in three-point field goal percentage at over 48 percent as the Beavers are fifth in Division III as a team.
BVU is one of the more efficient shooting teams in the country, ranking fifth in three-point percentage, 11th in field goal percentage and 46th in free-throw percentage. It's also 20th in assists per game. The team has scored at least 90 points in six conference games this season and is averaging over 85.0ppg during league play.
A Look Ahead: The Beavers will go after the season sweep of Nebraska Wesleyan on Saturday night with a 6:00 p.m. contest inside Siebens Fiedhouse. It'll also be Alumni Day for the Beavers with the men's alumni game slated for a 1:30 p.m. tip-off.