Wes Nordquist (Adel, Iowa/ADM) made a layup and was fouled with just over a minute left which capped a thrilling comeback on Saturday night against Central College (12-7, 5-6 IIAC), as the Beavers, who trailed by nine with five minutes to play, held off a last-second attempt by the Dutch to notch their fifth straight win with a 69-68 triumph.
Central, which connected on 15 three-pointers in the contest, made one with 5:25 to play for an eight point lead, and after making 1-of-2 free-throw attempts on the next trip down the floor, led by nine with just over five minutes to play.
Senior Doug Bissen (Earling, Iowa/Harlan) then made a pair of free-throws, while senior Jeff Janssen (Fairmont, Minn./Fairmont) buried a three-pointer, and the Beavers had fought back to within four at 65-61 with four minutes left.
Central wasn’t done firing up long range shots, connecting on yet another to go back up seven with under four minutes to go. Those, however, would prove to be the last points the Dutch would score, as BVU used a key 8-0 run to close the game, including the go-ahead bucket with just over a minute to play.
Central had a chance to go ahead the next time down the floor, but misfired this time from downtown and Michael Kaufmann (Harlan, Iowa/Harlan) dove on the floor for the rebound, while calling timeout. After a missed shot attempt with just over 10 seconds to go, Central got one last chance.
After three-straight timeouts, the Dutch, with the ball under their own basket with 2.3 seconds left, saw their floater in the paint roll off the rim, and the tip-in would not fall, and the Beavers prevailed for their fifth straight win.
BVU also erased a nine-point first half deficit to take a 26-25 lead on a Janssen three-pointer, but Central would close the half strong and take a 37-32 lead into the locker room.
Janssen, who’s averaging 15.8 points over the last five games, turned in 21 tonight, including 5-of-8 from downtown. He’s now made a career-high 41 long range buckets this season, surpassing his previous best of 40 set as a sophomore. His 138 career triples rank him seventh on the program’s all-time list.
Nordquist finished with his fourth double-double of the year, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Bissen turned in seven points and seven rebounds, while Kaufmann dished out a career-high nine assists.
BVU shot right at 50 percent from the field in the second half and finished the game at 42.6 percent for the game. It made 7-of-15 from long range and 10-of-14 from the free-throw line.
KJ Cool and Chris Lehman each knocked down four three-point shots and finished with 12 points each to lead Central, which has now lost six straight games after starting the year at 12-1.
Meanwhile, the Beavers are enjoying their longest winning streak of the year and their longest since running off nine straight at the end of the 2008-09 season. The team improves to 11-8 overall (7-3 IIAC) and is only one game back in the loss column of Luther College for the IIAC lead.
Next up for the Beavers is a road contest at Loras College (5-15, 2-9 IIAC) on Wednesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00pm.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.