The top-ranked team in NCAA III men’s basketball extended their nation-leading winning streak to 28 games as Nebraska Wesleyan defeated Wartburg College 89-73 in American Rivers men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 12) at Snyder Arena in Lincoln.
Nebraska Wesleyan used a big run in the 1st half to get up by as many as 14 points, then Wartburg closed the gap with a run of their own scoring 13 straight points to cut the lead down to one. NWU entered the halftime locker room with a three point advantage of 43-40.
Wartburg guard Cam Kickbush was the story of the game in the 1st half as he made seven 3-pointers and 21 points to keep the Knights in the game. Kickbush cooled off in the second half making only 1-9 on his attempts.
The Prairie Wolves established themselves early in the second half scoring the first 10 points to grab a 13 point lead less than two minutes into the half. Wartburg got back within eight points just once as NWU maintained a double-digit lead the majority of the second half, leading by as many as 23 points at one point.
NWU, ranked second in the nation in field goal percentage, shot 54.7 percent for the game overall. They made 12 3-pointers on 27 attempts for 44.4 percent.
Cooper Cook made six 3-pointers for a second straight game to end the afternoon with a game-high 28 points. Cook was 6-10 from deep and 8-10 overall, while leading the team with eight rebounds.
Ryan Garver filled the stat sheet posting his 6th double-double of the year. Garver scored 24 points, leaving him one point shy of 1,000 for his career. He handed out 11 assists and pulled down seven rebounds in the victory, making 10-15 shot attempts.
Cook and Garver were the only two Prairie Wolves to reach double figures as Dylan Dirks and Clay Reimers each scored nine. NWU also welcomed back Nate Schimonitz into the starting lineup after he missed the past two games with injury.
Kickbush led the Knights with 27 points on 8-20 from 3-point range. He attempted 21 total shots on the day, with 20 coming from behind the arc. Tyler Zumbach came off the bench to score 10 points as the other Knight in double figures.
NWU was able to shut down the leading scorer in the conference as they held Jaran Sabus to only three points. He came into the day averaging over 23 points a game.
Nebraska Wesleyan is back on the road on Wednesday night at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and on KFOR.
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