After a low scoring first half, the Buena Vista University men's basketball team managed to hold off a determined University of Dubuque late surge, winning the contest 67-61 here Saturday at Siebens Field House.
It was the regular season Iowa Conference finale for both teams. This gives the Beavers their fourth win in a row as they head into tournament play, the longest winning streak they have had all season.
Starting the second half off strongly, Buena Vista pulled away from a 23-16 halftime margin to open up a comfortable lead which grew to 20 points with a little over eight minutes to play in the game. The University of Dubuque stepped up its game and slowly whittled away Buena Vista's lead, converting on six free throws, to bring the score to 59-50 with four minutes left in regulation.
Although the Spartans got within seven points with a little under two minutes remaining, they were unable to seriously challenge for the lead. With four seconds left on the clock, Dubuque swished a three-point shot to conclude the game, 67-61.
Jesse Schmidt led the way with 14 points for the victory. Nolan Grimm had a strong showing with 12 points, shooting 4-7 from beyond the arc. Brian Fogleman recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Dubuque had three players in double figures, led by Norris Langford with 16. Andrew Fisch had 15 points and Luke Stotmeister had 13. The Spartans conclude their season with a record of 14-10 overall, 6-10 in the IIAC.
This win has brought the Beavers' record to 10-6 in the conference and 12-13 overall. Tournament play begins tonight as Buena Vista will hosts Luther College in Storm Lake. The Beavers earned the third seed while the Norse are the sixth seed.
This past season, the Beavers split with Luther, losing a 75-60 decision in Decorah but beating the Norse last week at BVU, 70-53.
Tonight's winner takes on second seed Wartburg Thursday night in Waverly starting at 7 p.m.
In tonight's other IIAC semi, fifth seed Simpson is at fourth seed Loras in Dubuque. That winner will take on top seed Coe in Cedar Rapids Thursday.
The IIAC playoff title game will be played Saturday night at the highests remaining seed.