LINCOLN, Neb. – Five Nebraska Wesleyan seniors scored in double figures to lead the 6th-ranked Prairie Wolves to an 88-73 victory over Loras College on Senior Day Saturday (Feb. 22) at Snyder Arena.
NWU bounced back from a 27-point loss Wednesday at Simpson to finish the regular season with a 22-3 overall record and a 15-1 mark in the American Rivers Conference. It marks the second straight year the Prairie Wolves went through league play with only one loss.
Loras drops to 17-8 overall and 10-6 in league play to finish 3rd in the A-R-C standings. The Duhawks will be the No. 3 seed in the postseason tournament and host 6th-seeded Wartburg on Tuesday night.
After the worst shooting performance of the Dale Wellman era on Wednesday, the Prairie Wolves came out blazing from behind the arc on Saturday. NWU hit 9-17 from 3-point range in the opening half and finished with 14 made 3-pointers for the game.
NWU held a 48-37 lead at halftime over the Duhawks, who his seven first half 3-pointers. Loras got within eight points three times in the first eight minutes of the second half but they never got any closer.
A 14-2 run during a stretch of four minutes gave the Prairie Wolves their largest lead of 22 points late in the game and that allowed Coach Wellman to give each senior the recognition they deserved at the end of the contest.
All eight came out to standing ovations in the final minutes earning their 97th victory as a senior class, tying the record for most wins during a four-year stretch.
The two teams combined to make 27 3-pointers in the game but neither team shot over 50 percent overall. NWU made 47.0 percent as a team with Loras shooting only 37.1 percent.
NWU held a +4 advantage on the glass and committed only six turnovers.
Nate Bahe led the Prairie Wolves with 19 points, making 3-6 from 3-point range. He was one of five different players to score in double figures. Dylan Dirks and Jack Hiller each scored 16 points to break out of their scoring slumps. Dirks was 4-6 from 3-point land and Hiller was 3-5 to move into the top 20 all-time at NWU in scoring.
Clay Reimers came off the bench to record his sixth double-double of the year with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Austin Hall got the start in Reimers place on senior day handing out five assists. Leading scorer Nate Schimonitz finished with 14 points and dished out five assists.
Loras was led by Rowan McGowan who scored 25 points on 4-13 shooting from 3-point range, while Matt Dacy-Seijo scored 20 points with six made 3-pointers.
Nebraska Wesleyan now will prepare for the American Rivers Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed. The Prairie Wolves received a bye and on Thursday will face the winner of a Tuesday night first round game between Buena Vista & Simpson. The 7 pm Thursday night game at Snyder Arena will be heard on KFOR & kfornow.com, beginning at 6:45pm.