LINCOLN, Neb. – No. 1 Nebraska Wesleyan’s winning streak was in jeopardy early, but the top-ranked Prairie Wolves outscored University of Dubuque 46-27 in the second half to earn a 69-54 victory over the Spartans on Monday afternoon (Jan. 21) inside Snyder Arena.
NWU now has won 31 straight games improving to 18-0 overall and 9-0 in American Rivers Conference action after defeating Dubuque for the second time this year. The Spartans drop to 11-7 and 4-5.
The Prairie Wolves missed their first 12 3-pointers of the game and shot only 1-17 from behind the arc in the first half. NWU, which entered the game as the top field goal percentage shooting team in the nation, was 21.9 percent overall in the opening 20 minutes.
Dubuque used a zone defense to slow down the Prairie Wolves attack and take a 27-23 lead in the first half. The Spartans only shot 23.5 percent in the first half, but six of their eight made field goals were 3-pointers.
In the second half, NWU got on track right away as Cooper Cook drained a 3-pointer on the first possession. Nate Schimonitz hit back-to-back 3-pointers giving the Prairie Wolves a 34-32 lead just under three minutes into the half and NWU would not trail again.
NWU used a 17-5 run to start the half to get up 41-32 forcing a Spartan timeout. Dubuque would get within seven points on a 3-pointer at the 10:55 mark, but that is as close as they’d get.
The Prairie Wolves went on a quick 10-2 run over a three minute stretch to lead by 15 points and that cushion was enough for NWU to run out the clock in the final minutes.
Shooting was much improved in the second half for the Prairie Wolves as they were 9-19 from 3-point range for 47.4 percent and that was their shooting percentage overall for the half. NWU ended the game at 35.3, the only time this year they have shot under 46 percent in a game.
Dubuque remained cold from deep making 3-16 3-pointers in the second half and they ended the game 9-38. The Spartans shot 29.4 percent overall for the game. Peter Ragan led Dubuque scoring 17 points.
Three players scored in double figures for the Prairie Wolves, led by Cooper Cook with 16 points. Cook, who moved to 5th all-time at NWU in scoring, was 2-6 on 3-pointers and pulled down nine rebounds.
Nate Schimonitz scored 14 points with eight assists and four rebounds, making a team-high three 3-pointers. Clay Reimers posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Ryan Garver had a solid all around stat line with 8 points, 8 rebounds, 7 steals and 6 assists.
NWU is now off until Saturday (Jan. 26) when they travel to face Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa in a battle between the top two teams in the conference.
NWU Women 79, Dubuque 64
Nebraska Wesleyan snapped their five-game losing skid with an impressive 79-64 victory over Dubuque in American Rivers women’s basketball action on Monday afternoon (Jan. 21) at Snyder Arena.
NWU has now completed the season sweep over Dubuque to improve to 9-9 overall and 4-5 in conference play. The Spartans drop to 3-15 and 1-8.
NWU got up by 18 points in the third quarter and were ahead by as many as 20 points in the 4th quarter. Dubuque was able to get to the free throw line in the fourth quarter, hitting 9-11 to stay close and get to within 12 points but that was as close as they’d get.
The Prairie Wolves were dominant on the glass, an area where they had struggled during the losing streak. On Monday, NWU held a 60-47 advantage getting 30 offensive rebounds and scoring 27 second chance points.
Dubuque also struggled against the NWU full court press as they committed 25 turnovers in the game, with NWU scoring 27 of those turnovers.
Caitlin Navratil led the Prairie Wolves with 28 points, to go along with eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. Mikenzie Delgado made 5-8 from 3-point range for 15 points with a team-high six steals.