The Buena Vista men's basketball begins its quest for an unprecedented eighth Iowa Conference Tournament title tonight when it hosts sixth-seed Central College in the quarterfinal round.
Who: Central (10-15, 7-9 IIAC) @ Buena Vista (17-8, 10-6 IIAC)
When: Tuesday, February 20 * 7:00pm
What: Iowa Conference Tournament Quarterfinal
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/20180220_hvtc.xml
-- Buena Vista ranks fourth in Division III in three-point shooting this season (41.6 percent)
-- The Beavers are 23-5 all-time at home during the Iowa Conference Tournament.
-- Tonight is the seventh meeting between the two teams all-time in conference tournament play but the first since 2013-14. The Dutch have won the last two match-ups (both played in Pella).
-- Central ranked third during IIAC play with 10.6 made three-point buckets per game. The Dutch were also fourth in three-point percentage at 38.4ppg
-- Central had three players score over 20 points in its regular season loss to Wartburg (Malik Wildermuth, Kyle Smith and Jamel McKnight)
About Central: The Dutch finished as the sixth-seed in this year's tournament after being dealt a tough 93-92 home loss to Wartburg on Saturday afternoon, despite holding a 17-point halftime lead. The team has been solid on the offensive end all season along, averaging 84.6ppg and nearly 11 made three-pointers per contest. Its been slowing down the opponent's offense that has been the achilles heel of the team for most of the year. The Dutch ranked ninth in scoring defense during league play, allowing just under 90.0ppg with teams shooting 50 percent from the field and over 43 percent from long range. Kyle Smith leads the team in scoring at 17.2ppg overall with Malik Wildermuth (15.3ppg), Jamel McKnight (12.4ppg) and Seth Wood (10.5ppg) all averaging double figures. Smith has drilled 73 three-point buckets on the year with Wildermuth and Wood making 51 and 47, respectively.
About BVU: Buena Vista picked up a thrilling 71-70 road win at Luther this past Saturday to wrap up its regular season on a high note after dropping its previous three games. Despite the three setbacks, the team was still shooting the ball efficiently and remains one of the best shooting teams in both the IIAC and Division III. For the year, it finished the regular season as the top three-point shooting team in the IIAC and ranked fourth in DIII at 41.6 percent. It was also tops in the league in field goal percentage at 51.3 percent and is ninth in the country. David Jeffries is the team's leading scorer at over 14.7ppg and in total steals (42). He is also second in rebounding (5.8rpg) and total assists (80). Thomas Wisecup is right behind Jeffries in scoring (12.6ppg) and leads the team in rebounds (6.5rpg) and total assists (101). Billy Sparks has come off the bench and is third on the team overall in scoring (10.8ppg) and has done a great deal of his damage from downtown (63-of-139). He is currently 16th in Division III in three-point percentage (.453). His 63 makes are currently tied with Troy Ticknor (2009-10) for 10th on the program's single-season list.
A Look Ahead: The winner of tonight's match-up will advance to play at second-seed Loras College on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. The two semfinal winners from Thursday will play in the championship game on Saturday (Feb. 24).