STORM LAKE - It was a 19-0 first half run that broke open the game for Buena Vista, and then it was another big run early in the second half that virtually put the game away, as the Beavers rolled to a convincing 93-57 home victory over visiting Finlandia (Mich.) on Wednesday night inside of Siebens Fieldhouse.
The Lions led 10-7 in the early going before the Beavers erupted for a pivotal 19-0 run midway through the half that helped send them to a 47-26 halftime lead.
Finlandia began to make things a bit uncomfortable for BVU early in the second half, using a 12-2 spurt over the first four minutes of the period to get within 11. Beaver head coach Todd Lorensen then called consecutive full timeouts to talk it over with his squad, and it paid off. The Beavers came out of that huddle and used a monster 25-4 run over the next nine minutes, capped by a three-pointer by Ryan Vogelei.
From there, the team was able to put it in cruise control to pick up its largest margin of victory on the year.
Junior Noah Schmitt helped lead the charge for the Beavers off the bench, as he drilled 3-of-4 shot attempts from long range in the contest to finish with a career-high 13 points. DJ McNeal also came off the bench and added 10 points as the BVU bench outscored Finlandia, 60-9. Brendan Gary made all four of his field goal attempts and had eight points, three rebounds and three assists. Robert Hawkins was the only starter to score in double figures as he chipped in with 11 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Lincoln Rock came off the bench and dished out a career-best four assists with Alex Rogers Jr. also adding four.
Buena Vista shot 51.5 percent from the field in the game, including 13-of-35 from long range. The team also held a big advantage at the free-throw line, making 10-of-14, while the Lions were just 2-of-8.
Jaden Janke led Finlandia (0-9) with 15 points as Austin Carlson added 11. The Beavers were able to seize control in that first half thank to 16 first half turnovers by the Lions. They finished with 25 in the game and the Beavers turned those into 28 points.
Buena Vista is now 4-1 at home this season and improves to 6-5 overall. The same two teams will square-off again on Thursday afternoon with tip-off slated for 1:00 p.m. There will be free admission for any and all fans.