STORM LAKE - Northwestern College showed why it won the NAIA Division II national championship last season. They also showed why they're ranked No. 1 this year.
Northwestern held Buena Vista to 36 percent shooting in the game - far below its 54 percent average this season - to post an 82-68 win on Tuesday night at Siebens Fieldhouse.
The Red Raiders led by more than 30 points on occasion in the second half. Buena Vista ended up outscoring Northwestern 48-39 in the second half.
The Beavers made only 29 percent of their shots in the first half as the Red Raiders bolted to a 43-20 lead at halftime.
For the game, Buena Vista was 24 of 66 for 36 percent. Northwestern was 26 of 65 for 40 percent. The Red Raiders made 8 of 27 3-point shots and were 22 of 26 from the free throw line.
Buena Vista, on the other hand, was just 4 of 21 from 3-point range and 16 of 24 from the free throw line.
"It's funny how the game goes," Buena Vista coach Brian Van Haaften said. "We had our best offensive practice all year the night before (Monday). Anytime we get challenged in a game we kind of back down a little bit. It's something we have to work on and get better at."
"They were a good passing team and we were a little slow defensively," Van Haaften added. "Some of the effort plays that are needed to win games we didn't make."
Casey Pelzer scored a career-high 14 points to lead Buena Vista, now 3-3 overall. Adam Jones added nine and Robby Beyer seven.
Chris Petersen collected seven rebounds and Beyer six. Rod Wiebers charted three steals.
Buena Vista visits Central and Simpson this weekend.