Mens' Basketball Pulls Away Late for 96-87 Win over Spartans

Mens' Basketball Pulls Away Late for 96-87 Win over Spartans

David Jeffries scored 21 points and Thomas Wisecup followed with 20, to help lead the Buena Vista men's basketball team to its seventh straight win on Wednesday night with a 96-87 Iowa Conference road win at the University of Dubuque.

Jeffries, who came into the contest leading the Iowa Conference in field goal percent during conference play at better than 72 percent, made all seven of his shot attempts against the Spartans, including 3-of-3 from downtown.  The only shot he missed all night was a free-throw later in the second half as he went 4-of-5 overall.  Along with his team-high in points, he also matched Wisecup for lead in rebounds at seven.  Wisecup also dished out a game-high six assist and commited just one turnover.  He is ranked in the top-10 in Division III in assist-to-turnover ratio.

Sophomores Billy Sparks and Matthew Goodman came off the bench to scored 16 and 12 points, respectively.  Sparks was aided by a 3-of-7 effort from downtown, as the Beavers were again strong from beyond the arc at 12-of-28 (42.9%).

The Spartans were able to stay in the contest by making 11 three-point baskets in the first half as the two teams went to the locker room tied at 47-47.  BVU held Dubuque to just 4-of-14 from long range over the final 20 minutes while they went on and shot 60 percent overall.

Dubuque led 64-63 seven minutes into the second half before Jeffries gave the lead for good with just under 12:00 to go.  Connor Winkelman made a jumper followed by a three from Wisecup as the margin grew to 70-66.  Wisecup later hit another trey to make it a five-point lead.  The Spartans got back within two at 80-78 with only five minutes left and stayed within a bucket with just three minutes to go.  BVU then ran off five straight points before Sparks came up with a huge three-pointer to make it a 90-82 margin with just over one minute remaining.  He then sank a pair of free-throws to keep the lead at eight as the clock hit 60 seconds left, and the Beavers continued to make just enough free-throws down the stretch to hold off Dubuque (8-6, 0-5 IIAC).

Given the tightness of the game throughout, there were only three ties and three lead changes.

TJ Lake scored a game-high 35 points to lead Dubuque.  He has now scored 85 points over his last two games.

Buena Vista improves to 12-2 on the year (5-0 IIAC) and hosts Loras College (11-4, 3-2 IIAC) on Saturday (Jan. 13) at 4:00 p.m.  The Duhawks picked up a thrilling 97-87 (OT) win at home over Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday night.