STORM LAKE, Iowa –(NWU Athletics Jan. 29)– In a matchup of the top two teams in the American Rivers Conference men’s basketball standings, 9th-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan used a huge second half to earn a hard fought 97-80 victory over Buena Vista University on Wednesday night (Jan. 29) at Siebens Fieldhouse in Storm Lake, Iowa.
NWU (17-2, 10-0) trailed by one point at halftime but outscored the Beavers (15-3, 6-3) 55-37 in the second half shooting 61.3 percent from the field and 52.9 percent from 3-point range.
Just like the first time the two teams met, the Prairie Wolves used a 12-0 run in the 2nd half to break open the game. The Prairie Wolves led 63-57 with 12:58 to play, then NWU quickly rattled off 12 straight points in less than two minutes to make it a 75-57 game. NWU got up by as many 22 points and started the second half on a 36-14 run.
The Prairie Wolves offense was too much for the Beavers to handle in the second half featuring an inside and outside attack. Clay Reimers was unstoppable inside, then he began kicking out to open shooters on the perimeter and the Prairie Wolves knocked down nine 3-pointers in the second half.
Entering the game ranked 2nd in NCAA III in field goal percentage, the Prairie Wolves shot over 50 percent for the seventh straight game making 58.3 percent of their shot attempts (35-60) on Wednesday night.
After setting a season-high with 14 made 3-pointers on Saturday versus Wartburg, the Prairie Wolves equaled that total once again at BVU making 14-29 from long range for 48.2 percent. Of the 35 made field goals by the Prairie Wolves, 27 of them were assisted baskets with NWU continuing to share the basketball.
Clay Reimers was the story of the game scoring a season-high 26 points finishing the game 11-12 from the floor. Reimers had a double-double adding 10 rebounds to go along with five assists.
Leading scorer Nate Schimonitz had a double-double of his own scoring 19 points and dishing out a career-high 12 assists. He was 6-11 from the floor and made three 3-pointers.
Five Buena Vista players reached double figures in scoring for former NWU player and assistant coach Trevor Johnson who is in his first year leading the Beavers. Brendan Gary came off the bench to score 23 points on 11-13 shooting. As a team, BVU shot 45.2 percent but went only 7-28 from 3-point range.
Nebraska Wesleyan has now won 16 straight conference regular season games, the fourth longest streak in NCAA III basketball. The Prairie Wolves, who now have a three-game lead in the American Rivers Conference standings, will look to make it 17 straight on Saturday (Feb. 2) when they host the University of Dubuque in Snyder Arena.