The Buena Vista men's basketball team hosted top-ranked and defending national champion, Nebraska Wesleyan, on Wednesday night to resume American Rivers Conference play following the holiday break, but the Beavers dug themselves into an early hole and were handed their worst loss of the year, 83-59.
BVU couldn't overcome a season-high 27 turnovers in the contest as the Prairie Wolves outscored the Beavers in points off turnovers, 27-14. NWU came out and scored the game's first 13 points, including a trio of three-pointers, as BVU turned the ball over on four of its first five possessions. Garrett Sittner finally got the Beavers on the board with a three-pointer five minutes into the contest, but the Prairie Wolves responded with seven straight points and built a 20-3 lead.
The Beavers were held to single digits until Alex Rogers Jr. made a layup with under 7:00 left. NWU kept its foot on the gas pedal and took a 47-17 lead into the half.
BVU was unable to go on any sort of extended run in the second half, getting no closer than 24 points. The team, which came in ranked 10th in all of Division III with 11.8 made three-point buckets per contest, was held to just 7-of-23 from downtown.
Timothy Jeffries was the only Beaver to score in double figures, finishing with 10 on just 2-of-8 shooting. Sittner made all three of his three-point attempts and tallied nine points off the bench while Michael Demers and Robert Hawkins each followed with eight points.
The Beavers held a slight edge on the glass, outrebounding the Prairie Wolves, 26-25.
Ryan Garver was 9-of-10 from the field and finished with a game-high 23 points to lead NWU (12-0, 3-0) which extended its win streak to 25. Cooper Cook followed with 20 points while Garver also added eight rebounds, six steals and four assists.
Buena Vista has its four-game win streak snapped and falls to 7-6 overall and 1-3 in conference play. The Beavers look to bounce back on Saturday, January 5, when they host Luther College at 4:00 p.m. It will also be Alumni Day and Pink Out Day for the Beavers.