Controlling the paint and efficiency on offense helped the Buena Vista University men's basketball team to a 77-64 win over Wartburg College on the Knights' home floor here Saturday night.
With the win, the Beavers improved to 8-1 overall and to 2-0 in Iowa Conference play.
"Looking at the stat sheet, most categories are pretty even," said BVU men's basketball coach Brian Van Haaften Sunday night. "But we were just a little more efficient on offense and we did a good job scoring inside and rebounding."
BVU senior post player Scott Weber scored a game-high 29 points for the Beavers, a career best according to Van Haaften.
"He did most of his damage right around the basket," the coach said. "He was in the right places at the right times and the other guys did a great job passing him the ball."
Three other players reached double figures for the BVU men, including senior guard Eric Wiebers with 14, Randy Bissen with 11 and Michael Cameron with 10 points.
The Beavers led 40-36 at the half and outscored Wartburg 37-38 in the second half.
"I thought we played very well defensively," Van Haaften added. "We had them back on their heels for much of the game.
"Offensively, we just did a good job getting the ball to the right people at the right times. We were just a little more efficient on offense than they were."
BVU led just 8-7 early in the first half but went on a 5-0 run that included a three-point basket by point guard Casey Pelzer and a two-point field goal by Weber.
The Beavers led 17-11 with five minutes elapsed but just a few minutes later, Wartburg had trimmed the lead to 24-21. BVU responded with five straight points from Brandon Kies on a two-point field goal and a shot from beyond the arc.
The Beavers led 37-29 with 5 minutes, 32 seconds left in the first half after a shot from in close by Weber. But Wartburg went on an 8-2 run to get to within 39-35 with 2:30 left. Each team scored one point during the remainder of the half as BV led 40-36 at halftime.
"Any time you beat a team as good as Wartburg on their home floor by double digits, you've got to consider that a good game," Van Haaften added.
The Beavers got off on the right foot in the first three minutes of the second half via an 8-4 run, giving them a 48-40 lead with 17:52 left in the contest.
After two free throws by Wartburg's Jesse Steege, the Knights were suddenly within four at 50-46 with 15 minutes left.
The Beavers responded with a two-point basket by Jordan Campbell, and a short jumper by Weber. After a basket by Wartburg's Alan Johnson, BVU went on a game-deciding run.
Over the next six minutes, the BVU men held Wartburg scoreless while putting up 11 straight points for a 65-48 lead with 9:30 left.
The run was started by BVU on a three-point basket by Cameron. After two free throws by Randy Bissen, Wiebers connected on a two-point jumper. That was followed by two free throws by Wiebers and a shot from underneath by Weber.
Wartburg, however, came right back, going on a 12-2 run to get to within 67-60 with 4:44 left.
BVU finished strong, ending the game on a 10-4 run for the final margin.
"It's nice to start the conference season with a 2-0 mark," said Van Haaften. "But we have a lot of tough conference games coming up and we're just going to take then one at a time."
As Van Haaften said, the major categories on the stat sheet were just about even. BVU held a 25-24 advantage on the boards, including 8-7 on the offensive board.
The Beavers committed just nine turnovers while forcing 12 Wartburg turnovers. BVU hit 28 of 50 field goals for 56 percent shooting. Wartburg was 25 of 45 from the field for 55.6 percent.
Three point shooting was a key for BV, as they made six of 14 three pointers for 46.2 percent. The Knights made three of six from beyond the arc in the first half but just one of seven in the last 20 minutes.
Individually for BVU, Bissen led the way on the boards with five total rebounds while Weber and Pelzer added four each. Cameron and Wiebers each hit two three pointers.
Post player Nate Schmidt led Wartburg with 16 points but was the only Knight player in double figures. Steege added nine points while Jordan Atchison also had nine and Jeremy Gomez and Alan Johnson netted eight points each.
The Beavers are idle until this weekend. They'll take on Cornell College Friday Night at Siebens Field House starting at 8 p.m. They face Iowa Conference rival Coe College Saturday starting at 6 p.m.
In other Iowa Conference games Friday night, Dubuque beat Cornell College 96-88 in overtime, Loras edged Coe 60-52, and Simpson defeated Luther.
In conference games Saturday, Coe ran past Dubuque, 90-63, Cornell tripped Loras 104-100 in triple overtime, and Luther defeated Central College 57-53.