Taking a one-point lead into the second quarter, the Buena Vista women's basketball team held Loras College to just six second quarter points on Saturday afternoon, and that defensive boost helped lift the team to a big 69-56 road win over the Duhawks.
The Beavers led 21-20 after one quarter before outscoring Loras 18-6 in the second to take a 39-26 lead into the half. The Duhawks went just 3-of-15 from the filed and 0-7 from downtown in the quarter.
Morgan Muhlbauer scored eight points and hit a pair of big three-pointers in the third quarter which saw BVU pull in front by as many as 19 before taking a 55-39 advantage to the final frame. The Duhawks had another rough shooting quarter to start the second half, making just 3-of-15 yet again, but able to stay within striking distance by going 7-of-9 at the charity stripe.
BVU's struggles from the line in the fourth quarter allowed the Duhawks to slowly chip away at their deficit. The Beavers were just 8-of-17 from the foul stripe and just 3-of-10 overall from the field in the quarter as Loras got as close as nine with just under two minutes still to play.
Loras made consecutive layups in less than a minute to start the final quarter but then BVU held the Duhawks to just one free-throw over the next three minutes while still holding onto a 16-point cushion. The Beavers then went the next three minutes without a point but still led by 12. A layup by Loras with just over three minuntes left made it a nine-point margin, but BVU again stepped up its defensive effort and held the home team to just one bucket the rest of the way. BVU then made all four free-throws inside the final minute to secure its second straight win.
Jasmine Demers turned in a game-high 23 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season. Muhlbauer went 4-of-8 from downtown and tallied 18 points and six boards while Claudia Larsen was 5-of-8 from the field and chipped in with 10 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Buena Vista was 26-of-59 from the field (44 percent) and just 10-of-21 from the line (48 percent). Loras made just 1-of-18 from behind the arc and stayed in the game by going 15-of-20 from the charity stripe.
With the win, the Beavers are now 13-11 on the year and 8-7 in conference play. It pushes them one-half game ahead of idle Simpson for fourth in the standings and a game up on the Duhawks in the loss column. BVU have the night off on Wednesday before wrapping up the regular season next Saturday afternoon (Feb. 17) at Luther College (16-9, 10-4 IIAC). The Norse handed BVU a 76-54 home loss back in mid January. Tip-off against the Norse is at 2:00 p.m.