Beavers advance to second round
When Illinois College started hanging around early in the game, Brian Van Haaften called a timeout.
The score was tied at 24-24. Van Haaften told his team to make extra passes and defend the 3-point arc better.
The response was very well-received.
Buena Vista outscored Illinois College 26-10 after that point to the end of the first half and went on to crush the Blueboys 96-66 in the first round of the NCAA Division III national tournament Thursday at Siebens Center.
Buena Vista, now 26-3 and winners of 19 straight games, plays Rockford College in the second round today at 7 p.m. in Rockford, Ill.
The Blueboys made several 3-point baskets early in the game, including one by Kyle Miller that tied the score at 24-all with 8:33 left.
"I told them that we needed to start passing the ball better and defend the arc better," Van Haaften said. "I think we defended a little bit better on the arc and I think we made a couple extra passes. We shot the ball too quickly early on in the game. I thought we played a very solid game after that timeout."
Two baskets apiece from Chris Petersen and Eric Wiebers, and a 3-point play by Brandon Kies extended the Beavers' lead to 37-26 with 4:36 remaining.
Buena Vista went on a 17-2 spurt after the score was tied to take a 42-26 lead. Wiebers hit a tough 3-point shot at the buzzer to give Buena Vista a 50-34 halftime lead.
Wiebers made 10 of 11 shots, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range, and finished with 25 points. Petersen finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Michael Cameron had 16 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Scott Weber grabbed eight rebounds, and Kies and Casey Pelzer each had four assists. Wiebers, Petersen, Brian Sohn and Randy Bissen all had three assists apiece.