Despite seeing a 16-point lead cut down to just four late in the second half, the Buena Vista women's basketball team hung on to defeat a scrappy Dordt College team, 67-63, on Thursday night inside the Lamberti Recreation Center, snapping a two-game losing skid in the process.
The Defenders opened the game on a 6-0 run, as the Beavers made just one of their first 10 shots in the contest. BVU, however, pulled back even at 6-6 before using an 11-2 run to go in front by nine (17-8) midway through the opening half.
The Beavers began to find the shooting stroke during the later part of the half, while extending its lead to 15 with nearly three minutes left. After shooting under 17 percent to start the half, the team responded to finish the first 20 minutes at a respectable 41.9 percent.
Margo Muhlbauer turned in 12 of her game-high 18 points in the first half, including a 6-of-8 performance from the free throw line. As a team, BVU sank 13-of-15 attempts from the charity stripe in the half.
The Beavers, who took a 41-32 advantage into the locker room, came out strong in the second half, while cruising to their biggest lead of the game (54-38) nearly five minutes in.
From there, the Defenders went on a 15-4 run over the next eight minutes to pull to back to within five. After BVU went back up by eight with just less than four minutes remaining in regulation, Dordt took advantage of another late-game BVU scoring drought to pull to as close as four with 25 seconds left.
After not scoring a single point since the 3:59 mark of the second half, the Beavers got a pair of key free throws from Melissa Putney with 12 seconds left to clinch their sixth win of the season and snap a two-game losing skid.
Muhlbauer finished the contest shooting 6-of-16 from the floor and 6-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Jenn Schumann followed with 15 points and six rebounds, while Putney turned in nine points and a a team-high eight rebounds.
BVU cooled off in the second half, shooting only 30 percent from the field, to finish at 35.9 percent for the game. Each team finished with 47 rebounds and 19 turnovers.
McKinzie Schmidt turned in a stellar performance in a losing effort for the Defenders, scoring 15 points and grabbing a game-high 18 rebounds. Kate Du Mez and Noelle Kreykes chipped in with 10 points apiece.
BVU (0-2 IIAC) improves to 6-5 on the season and will now look to pick up its first conference win of the year when the team returns to action today in Decorah with a road contest at Luther College (4-6, 1-1 IIAC) in Decorah. Tip-off against the Norse is scheduled for 2 p.m.