LINCOLN–(NWU Athletics Dec. 4)–Previously undefeated Buena Vista gave 6th-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan all they wanted, but in the end it was the teacher who took down the pupil as the Prairie Wolves opened American Rivers Conference play with a 78-65 victory over the Beavers on Wednesday night (Dec. 4) at Snyder Arena.
Former Prairie Wolves All-American and assistant coach Trevor Johnson had his team put up a good fight against his alma mater however his old coach had his number in the initial meeting between the two teams.
BVU led for nearly five minutes of the first half, before NWU took a 35-32 lead into the halftime locker room. Neither team shot the ball well from the field with BVU shooting only 33.3 percent and 20.8 from 3-point range while NWU was at 37.5 overall and only 1-10 on 3-pointers.
Both teams entered the game as two of the top 3-point shooting teams in the conference, but they struggled in the conference opener. BVU made 9-39 from deep for 23.1 percent and NWU was just 5-25 for 20.0 percent.
To start the second half, the Prairie Wolves used a 12-0 run during a five minute stretch to get out to a 17-point lead with 12:52 to play after a 3-pointer by Nate Schimonitz that ignited the home crowd.
Buena Vista was never able to get back within single digits the rest of the game, cutting the lead to 11 with 10:23 to play and then again in the final minute.
Turnovers were also an issue in the game as the Beavers turned the ball over 23 times and NWU committing 19 turnovers. The Prairie Wolves were able to convert the BVU turnovers into 14 points.
Nebraska Wesleyan came into Wednesday’s action ranked last in the conference in free throw shooting, but they were nearly perfect in the game. NWU made 25-26 at the charity stripe shooting 96.2 percent as a team. The Prairie Wolves outscored BVU 25-4 on free throws.
Schimonitz was the main scoring threat for the Prairie Wolves who had four guys reach double figures. The senior guard was 6-12 from the floor and 13-14 at the line to score 26 points to lead all scorers.
Clay Reimers posted a double-double with a big game in the paint. Reimers scored 15 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Nate Bahe nearly had a double-double himself with 13 points and nine rebounds. Jack Hiller also reached double figures scoring 10 points, thanks to 6-6 free throw shooting.
Buena Vista was led by DJ McNeal who came off the bench to score 14 points with six rebounds. Brendan Gary had 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Leading scorer Timothy Jeffries was limited to only four points in 16 minutes before fouling out.
NWU now hits the road to face University of Dubuque on Saturday afternoon in Dubuque, Iowa. The Prairie Wolves won’t be back at home for over a month when they host Simpson College on Jan. 8.
NWU Women 99, Buena Vista 74
Nebraska Wesleyan got the American Rivers Conference season off to a fast start as the Prairie Wolves defeated Buena Vista University 99-74 in women’s basketball action on Wednesday night (Dec. 4) at Snyder Arena.
NWU (4-4, 1-0 A-R-C) jumped out to a 15-point first half lead and never looked back as they ran away from the Beaver (1-7, 0-1) in the league opener.
The Prairie Wolves full court pressure defense bothered BVU all game long forcing the Beavers into 29 total turnovers. NWU was able to convert those turnovers into 30 points.
After being held to a season-low in points the last time out, the Prairie Wolves got their offense back on track scoring a season-high 99 points.
NWU had 82 total shot attempts in the game, 25 more than the Beavers. The Prairie Wolves shot 47.6 percent from the field as a team, going 7-20 from 3-point range.
Five different players reached double figures in scoring as NWU used a balanced attack. The conference’s leading scorer, Caitlin Navratil, led the way with 24 points on 11-21 shooting. Navratil added eight assists and seven rebounds in the game.
Mikenzie Delgado joined Navratil in the backcourt to score 18 points with three made 3-oointers. Sydney Skupa came off the bench to score 13 points, McKenzie Teten had 11 and Jazmine Glenn scored 10. Sami Tucker was a perfect 4-4 from the floor with eight points.
Destiny Einerwold led the Beavers with 24 points, going 10-16 from the field.