The Buena Vista men's basketball team used the long ball to its advantage on Thursday night, drilling 17-of-34 attempts, and held off a furious rally late by visiting Bethany Lutheran, as the Beavers went on to win their season opener, 100-91.
Junior transfer Dominic Sesma had a stellar debut in the Beaver blue and gold, drilling 7-of-9 shots from beyond the arc and finished with a team-high 24 points. Timothy Jeffries added 21 points and six boards, Connor Winkelman made all four long range attempts en route to 17 points, and Robert Hawkins chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Buena Vista finished 32-of-60 from the field and was 19-of-26 from the charity stripe.
Sesma had the hot hand in the first half to help the Beavers build a 55-43 lead at the break. He scored 20 of his 24 points in the period by making 6-of-7 from downtown.
Jeffries scored five quick points to start the second half while Winkelman connected on back-to-back three's to give BVU a 19-point lead. Sesma's only trey of the second half gave the Beavers a 20-point cushion before Demers hit one of his own to give the team it's largest lead of the night at 79-56 with 13:00 to play.
The Vikings, who won 20 games and was a national tournament qualifier a year ago, didn't go down without a fight. The team got back as close as seven with four minutes to play, but BVU was able to make it's final 10 free-throw attempts to put the game away.
Cire Mayfield led Bethany Lutheran (2-2) with 24 points while Trenton Krueger added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Vikings held a slight edge on the glass (35-32).
Buena Vista will go against another NCAA Tournament team from a year ago when it travels to UW-Stevens Point on Saturday, November 17, for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off against the 12th-ranked Pointers.