Senior Morgan Muhlbauer scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed five rebounds and was the only Beaver to score in double figures, but Buena Vista couldn't overcome 28 turnovers as it fell at home to Nebraska Wesleyan, 81-67.
The Prairie Wolves used a stingy full court press throughout the game and it gave the Beavers fits all night. NWU used that defensive pressure to build an early 11-2 lead and never looked back. The Prairie Wolves led 17-9 after the first quarter and extended the margin to 43-27 at the half. BVU fell behind by as many as 20 in the third quarter before it slowly began to chip away at that deficit.
Muhlbauer did her part to try and bring the team back, scoring 14 of her 20 points over the final 20 minutes. She finished the game 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 at the free-throw line.
NWU built a 50-29 advantage just three minutes into the third quarter before an 8-0 Beaver run got them back within 13 midway through the period. The Prairie Wolves kept putting on the pressure and was able to close the quarter strong and take a 63-45 cushion to the fourth.
BVU again fell behind by 20 at 71-51 before it tried to make one final surge. Muhlbauer scored eight of the team's next 10 points to get the Beavers within 74-61 after a pair of made free-throws with 2:54 to go. They got as close as 10 with a minute to play, but the rally came up short.
The Prairie Wolves forced BVU into 28 turnovers and turned those into 32 points.
BVU shot 44.6 percent from the field while NWU was 44.4 percent. Both teams struggled from long range, combining to go 4-for-30 from beyond the arc.
Caitlin Navratil, the league's leading scorer at 22.0 points per game, finished with a game-high 26 points, on 10-of-15 shooting. She also chipped in with three assists and six steals as the Prairie Wolves remained perfect in conference play at 3-0 (8-5 overall).
Buena Vista dips to 5-8 on the year (0-4 A-R-C) and will look to notch its first conference victory of the year on Saturday, January 5, when the Beavers host Luther College at 2:00 p.m. The Norse edged Coe College on Wednesday night, 64-62 in overtime. Saturday will also be Alumni Day and Pink Out Day for the Beavers. The alumni game is slated to begin at 10:00 a.m.