BVU cage teams continue defense of IIAC titles

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

BVU men notch road win at Loras

Loras College used balanced scoring to defeat the Buena Vista University men's basketball team 59-51 on Saturday. Six different Duhawks scored at least seven points as Loras held Buena Vista to its lowest scoring output of the season.

Both squads struggled to put the ball in the basket, especially in the first half. Loras held a 22-20 halftime lead despite shooting just 9 of 31 (29%) from the field in the first frame. Buena Vista had a harder time getting the ball in the hoop, as the Beavers shot an icy 7 of 33 (21%) from the floor in the first half.

Loras used a 12-5 run early in the second half to take a 41-31 lead with 12 minutes to go in the game. Buena Vista cut the deficit to four points a couple of times with under a minute and a half to play, but could not get any closer as Loras secured its seventh straight victory.

Jesse Schmidt had a game-high 14 points and nine rebounds to lead BVU. Brian Fogleman added 13 points and eight rebounds. Buena Vista's three starting perimeter players combined for just four points and seven turnovers. The Beavers were 5 of 25 (20%) from three-point range.

Kyle White and Greg King each scored 10 points for Loras. Luke Slater added nine points and seven rebounds while three other players had at least seven points for the Duhawks who improved to 9-3, 2-1 in the IIAC.

Buena Vista, 4-8 overall and 2-1 in the conference, will return to action on Tuesday, January 10 by hosting Luther College. Tip off at Siebens Fieldhouse is scheduled for 8 p.m.

BVU women beat Loras, but face 23rd Luther tonight

Just three games into the Iowa Conference schedule, it's clear that the Buena Vista University women's basketball team won't dominate the competition as it has the past two seasons.

In each of the past two years, BVU has gone 16-0 in league play, regularly beating IIAC teams by double digits.

It's a completely different scenario to a conference title this season, according to coach Janet Berry.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see the conference winner with four or five losses," she said Sunday night. "It's going to be important to take care of business at home and get as many wins as we can on the road."

So far, the BVU women are 1-0 at home in-conference and have split a pair of games on the road.

They were stunned by Cornell in Mount Vernon last Wednesday in a 62-57 loss, but came up with a key road win Saturday night in a 69-59 win over Loras.

"Rebounding was the difference between those two games," Berry added. "When we've had trouble this season, it's usually because we've been outrebounded."

She added that with a team that will face height disadvantages most nights, rebounding and playing a physical style will be keys.

In last Wednesday's loss to Cornell, BVU was outrebounded 44-37. Saturday in Dubuque, BVU held a 38-25 edge on the boards.

"We also got off to a fast start (against Loras), shot well from the free throw line and played a very solid game defensively," Berry said.

BVU started the game at Loras on a 14-6 run, only to see the Duhawks score seven straight points. BVU responded with a 7-0 run started by a three-point basket from guard Tracy Hartwig.

With 4 minutes, 39 seconds left in the first half, Loras and BVU were tied at 25. The Beavers ended the half on a 8-4 run for a 33-29 halftime lead.

BVU started the second half on a 10-3 run for a 43-32 lead with 15:39 left. They maintained that margin in the second half by making 20 of 22 free throws.

Pre-season All-American guard Katie Maguire finished with 18 points, eight assists and two steals. Senior forward Kelli Staley matched Maguire's 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds.

Senior guard Jess Griggs added 13 points. Staley was physical underneath, going to the line often and making eight of 10 free throws.

BVU made just eight field goals in the second half, but made 13 of 25 field goal attempts in the first 20 minutes. Maguire was six of six at the line and Griggs five of six.

With Saturday's win, BVU improved to 2-1 in conference play and 7-5 overall. They'll face one of their toughest tests this season when they host Luther (2-1, 9-2) Tuesday at 6 at Siebens Field House.

"We'll be giving up some inches (at the post positions), Berry said. "So we not only have to stay with them on the boards, but we have to match them with physical play."

Last season, the BVU women beat Luther twice, including 84-79 at home and 66-63 in Decorah.

"They have most of their roster back, and I'm sure their players remember last year's games with us," Berry said. "We know we'll get their best shot."

Tuesday's game will pit the conference's best offensive team (BVU) against the best defensive team thus far (Luther). The Beavers average 80.4 points per game while Luther has allowed an average of just 56 points per game.

The Norse lead the conference in scoring margin. They have beaten teams by an average of 22 points this season. BVU, which gives up an average of 71 points per game is third in scoring margin at 9 ppg.

Despite being outsized by most opponents so far, BVU has held it's own under the boards, averaging 13.7 offensive boards per game and 28 defensive rebounds.

There will be a contrast offensively between the two teams, Berry said. BVU has attempted 249 three-point shots, making 91 for 36.5 percent. Luther has attempted just 149 three's but has been accurate, hitting 53 for 37.9 percent.

"Luther is a post-oriented team offensively, but they're very solid overall," Berry said.

For BVU, Staley and Maguire are 1-2 IIAC scoring, averaging 18.7 and 17.8 ppg., respectively. Luther is led by 5-9 junior guard Christina Gaard, who averages 13 ppg. Six-foot senior post player Anne Straate averages 12.2 ppg and 5.8 rebounds per game. At the point, the Norse are led by 5-4 junior Melissa O'Brien, who averages 10.2 ppg. The other two starters are 6-1 junior Erica Svien and 5-9 sophomore guard Daneille Dunnwald, with Svien averaging 8.6 ppg. and Dunnwald 8.1 ppg.

BVU's Staley is third in the conference in rebounding (7.3 rpg.). For Luther, Svien is tops in the IIAC in field goal percentage (61.2 percent), and Dunnwald leads in steals (5.18 pg).

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