MT. VERNON - Senior Andre Wagner set a new career-high with 29 points, and the eighth-ranked Buena Vista men's basketball team handed Cornell College (9-3, 2-1 IIAC) its first league loss of the season by topping the Rams, 71-68 on Wednesday night.
Wagner, who surpassed his previous career-best of 27 points, finished 7-of-20 shooting from the field, while also sinking 13-of-14 attempts from the free-throw line. He also grabbed seven rebounds, dished out three assists, and committed just one turnover in 34 minutes. Fellow senior Matt Cleveland followed with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Travis Person chipped in with nine points, on 3-of-4 shooting from downtown.
With its six three-point baskets on the night, BVU has now made a three-point shot in 527 consecutive games. The last time BVU failed to make a three-point shot in a contest was back in 1988 against Wartburg College.
Brian Fogleman grabbed a team-high eight boards, as the BVU out-rebounded a Cornell team, which came in out-rebounding opponents by more than three per game, 39-33.
After seeing Cornell jump out to an early eight-point lead four minutes into the contest, Buena Vista got a three-pointer from Person which helped spark a 24-7 run over the next 11 minutes, giving the Beavers a 28-19 lead. It then upped the lead to 12 on one of Wagner's two three's in the game en route to a 39-27 lead at the break.
Cornell, however went on an 8-1 run to begin the second half and pulled to within five at 40-35. Buena Vista then went back up 47-37 at the 12:36 mark and kept the lead in double-figures until the Rams got to within nine with 2:44 remaining.
From there, they used a 12-6 run to get to within three with 10 seconds to play and after a pair of missed free-throws by BVU, had a chance to tie the game at the end but came up short.
BVU (11-1, 3-0 IIAC) runs its current winning streak up to eight games and will return to action on Saturday afternoon when it hosts Central College in a 4:00 p.m. contest.