Thousand Oaks, Calif. - The 10th-ranked Buena Vista men's basketball team wrapped up play in the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Tournament on Tuesday night with a thrilling 68-65 victory over the host Kingsmen of Cal Lutheran University (7-2).
Senior Andre Wagner, who was one of two Beavers named to the All-Tournament Team, led the way with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Fellow senior Matt Cleveland was also named to the All-Tournament Team with 12 points and five rebounds. Travis Person chipped in with nine points and a team-high six rebounds, while Kyle Stribe and Brian Fogleman each finished with eight points.
Both teams struggled to find the shooting touch at the start of the game, but Buena Vista began to find its stroke midway through the period and built a 15-5 lead at the 12:00 mark.
Not to be outdone, the Kingsmen kept their composure and went on a 12-0 run over the next three minutes to take a 17-15 lead. BVU, however, stormed right back with a run of its own to go back in front by eight (25-17) on a three-pointer from Wagner with 5:53 left. The team maintained that lead and took a 32-29 advantage into the locker room.
The second half was a tight one with the Kingsmen holding the largest lead by either team (4) until a pair of free-throws from Cleveland put the Beavers up five (65-60) with 2:02 left to play. Jeff Janssen then pushed the advantage up to six with two free-throws before a three-pointer by the Kingsmen pulled them back to within 68-65 with 19 seconds left.
After Wagner mis-fired on a pair of free-throws, Cal Lutheran had two chances to tie the game, but were just off target on each attempt and BVU hung on for its seventh straight victory.
In their first game of the tournament, senior Cleveland recorded his second double-double of the season, turning in a career-high 29 points and 12 rebounds, as the BVU men used a stellar shooting night, en route to a thrilling 108-100 overtime victory against Pacific Lutheran (5-3).
Cleveland finished the game shooting 11-of-16 from the field, including 3-for-3 from downtown, while sinking all four of his free-throw attempts. Wagner was right behind with 21 points to go along with eight assists. Janssen led the way with five three-pointers in the contest to finish with 15 points, as the Beavers nailed a season-high 16 long range shots in the game.
BVU out-rebounded the Lutes, 55-38.
The 108 points by the Beavers marks the team's highest point total since it scored 111 in a loss to Simpson back on February 14, 2004. The team also moved to 2-0 in overtime contests this season.
BVU runs its record to 10-1 overall and will return to action on Jan. 7 when it returns to IIAC play with a road contest at Cornell. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.