For the second time in a week, the Buena Vista men's basketball set a school record for three-point buckets, but this time the Beavers weren't able to squeak out the victory as the Beavers' halfcourt heave was off target and they fell on the road at second-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan, 89-86.
Senior Connor Winkelman played a huge part in the game and the record by drilling a career-high eight treys from beyond the arc en route to a career-high 24 points. He also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Sophomore Michael Demers came off the bench and went 5-of-10 from downtown and finished with 15 points, five boards and a career-best six assists. Garrett Sittner chipped in with four three-pointers and 17 points while Timothy Jeffries flirted with a triple-double, scoring 10 points, grabbing eight rebound and dishing out five assists.
After losing by 24 to the Prairie Wolves in the first game of 2019, the Beavers were able to stay within striking distance in this one due to its long range shooting. NWU led by 15 late in the first half before Demers hit a three as the first half ended to get BVU within 12 at the break, 47-35.
Nebraska Wesleyan built an 18-point cushion at 59-41 five minutes into the second half before Winkelman, Lincoln Rock and Demers each nailed consecutive three-point buckets to bring the Beavers within 11. NWU still led by 13 with four minutes to play before Sittner drilled the final one of his three-pointers to begin the late surge. Winkelman hit his final three-pointer and Sittner added a layp to make it an 87-84 game with 1:51 left.
Winkelman had a chance to tie the game on the next possession but came up empty, and after a BVU foul, the Prairie Wolves stepped to the line and made it a four-point game by hitting 1-of-2 attempts. Jeffries brough the Beavers within two at 88-86 with 31 seconds left, and after NWU again went 1-of-2 at the charity stripe, BVU had the ball back with under 25 seconds left. The Prairie Wolves fouled Demers, who missed the front end of a 1-and-1 trip. NWU got the rebound and was fouled, and then the Prairie Wolves missed their front end of a 1-and-1, leaving the Beavers with a halfcourt attempt at the buzzer to tie, but it was off target.
BVU finished the game going 21-of-45 from downtown, including 13-of-24 in the second half alone. All but four of the team's made field goals over the final 20 mintues came from beyond the arc. The team was just 5-of-11 at the free-throw line while the Prairie Wolves did alot of damage at the charity stripe by going 24-of-33.
Dylan Dirks came off the bench for the defending champs and made 5-of-6 from beyond the arc to finish with a team-high 21 points. Cooper Cook added a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, as the Prairie Wolves improved to 20-1 on the year (11-1 A-R-C).
Buena Vista falls to 9-13 overall (3-10 A-R-C) and will now close out its home schedue this next week with a pair of games inside of Siebens Fieldhouse, beginning with a Wednesday night contest against Central College starting at 8:00 p.m.
With three games remaining in the regular season, the Beavers find themselves sitting three games back of Dubuque for sixth-place in the conference standings. The team will host the Spartans on Saturday. BVU will need to win out and get some help to avoid missing out on the conference tournament for the first time in school history.