Spartans Use Late Surge to Hold off Beaver Comeback

Spartans Use Late Surge to Hold off Beaver Comeback

Facing a 19-point deficit midway through the second half, the Buena Vista men's basketball team cut the deficit all the way down to three with just over two minutes to play, but the University of Dubuque closed the game on a 10-5 run to pull out a 92-84 victory over the Beavers inside of Siebens Fieldhouse.

Dubuque started the game on fire from downtown and finished the first half with eight three-point buckets.  Buena Vista held a slim 19-17 lead at the 11:30 mark of the first half, and that wound up being its last advantage of the contest.  Michael Williams hit back-to-back treys to give Dubuque a 23-19 lead before later hitting another to make it 28-21.  The lead grew to as many as 10, and that ended up being the cushion at the half (44-34).

After shooting just 37 percent from the field in the opening half, the Beavers began to heat up in the second, but the Spartans weren't missing either.  Both teams shot better than 61 percent from the field, but it was Dubuque going 6-of-11 from long range compared to just 3-of-9 for BVU.

Dubuque led 70-51 with 11:30 to go in regulation and still led by 15 with under seven minutes remaining.  Connor Winkelman hit a three-pointer to cap a 15-3 run by BVU to make it an 82-79 contest with 2:40 to go, but the Spartans hit three straight free-throws and got a fast break dunk to make it an eight-point cushion and BVU was unable to get any closer than five.

Canyon Hopkins scored a career-high 21 points to help lead the Beavers.  He was 7-of-11 from the field and made all six free-throw attempts.  Michael Demers and Timothy Jeffries each followed with 11 points, while Thomas Wisecup, David Jeffries and Winkelman all added 10.  Wisecup hauled in a team-high seven rebounds and dished out five assists, while David Jeffries had six rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Jamaree Atwater made 4-of-6 from downtown and finished with a game-high 24 points to lead the Spartans (13-9, 5-8 IIAC) who have now won five of their last seven games overall and four straight on the road.

Buena Vista drops back-to-back games for only the second time all year.  The team is now 16-7 overall (9-5 IIAC) and remains a half game behind Loras for second in the Iowa Conference standings.  The team will look to pull even with the Duhawks and salvage the season split when the two teams meet on Saturday in Dubuque for a 4:00pm tip-off.