Central pulls away late for win over BVU men to open IIAC Tournament
STORM LAKE - In a game that saw both teams combine for 27 made three-point shots, it was three in a row by Central late in the second half that helped lift the Dutch to an 84-70 victory inside Siebens Fieldhouse over Buena Vista on Thursday night to begin the Iowa Conference Tournament.
The Beavers trailed for the majority of the game, including a seven-point deficit at halftime, 38-31. BVU trimmed that Central lead down to 44-43 five minutes into the second half and the two sides began their long range shootout. Central connected on back-to-back attempts and led 50-46 before senior Grant Wright drilled two straight for the Beavers to pull even at 52-52 with 13:01 left.
Central later hit another from beyond the arc to pull back in front 59-57 before Thomas Wisecup did the same for BVU before following up with a layup to give the team itís largest lead of the night at 62-59 with 7:41 still to play.
The Dutch then scored seven straight to build a 66-62 lead, but Canyon Hopkins halted the surege with a pair of free-throws to keep BVU close at 66-64. It began raining threeís again for Central which nailed three straight to highlight a 9-0 run that would ultimately give the visitors the lead for good. BVU misfired on all three field goal attempts during the three-minute stretch, and the team couldnít claw back over the hump from there. Central went on to hit free-throws down the stretch to push the game back into double-digits in the final minute.
The sixth-seeded Dutch went 13-of-25 (52.0 percent) from downtown in the contest while also converting 17-of-21 attempts from the charity stripe. The Beavers hit 14 of their own from long range, but the free-throw line wasnít its best friend in this contest, as the team made just 6-of-13, and dipped to 23-6 at home all-time in the Iowa Conference Tournament.
Wisecup turned in yet another solid all-around game before he fouled out to end his illustrious career in the final minutes, finishing with a team-high 18 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Fellow senior David Jeffries also played his final career game and chipped in with 10 points and four steals.
Kyle Smith led three Dutch players in double figures with 17 points as Jamel McKnight was right behind with 16 on 4-of-6 shooting from downtown.
Buena Vista finishes its season at 17-9 overall. Aside from Wisecup and Jeffries, the game was also the final in the career of Wright and Adam Juhl.