Junior Wes Nordquist turned in a game-high 22 points and 13 rebounds to help lead the Buena Vista men’s basketball on Friday night, but it was 19th-ranked Washington University using a hot shooting night from downtown to top the Beavers, 71-59, in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championships.
Nordquist shot 8-of-13 from the field and 6-of-8 at the free-throw line and was the only Beaver in double figures. Freshman Alex Savage hit one of the team’s two three-point buckets in the contest and followed with nine points, while senior Doug Bissen chipped in with eight points and five boards.
The game was back-and forth in the early going with neither team leading by more than five over the first 11 minutes. BVU held a 17-16 with nine minutes to go before the Bears hit one of their six three-point baskets in the opening half to help spark a 9-0 run to take a 27-20 lead.
Wash U then maintained that advantage until it went to the free-throw line for four free-throws following a foul and then a technical foul. The Bears went on to make all four and build the game’s first double-digit lead at 34-23 with 3:38 remaining.
BVU, which shot 39.6 percent from the field in the game, stayed within nine with just over two minutes left before the Bears got a bucket and then another long range bucket to go up 14 en route to a 41-29 lead at the break.
Wash U would also connect on its first three-point attempt of the second half to go in front by 15 . The Beavers tried to keep things close, trailing by only 11 with 11:29 left in regulation, but the Bears, who finished 10-of-22 from downtown, connected yet again to go right back up by 14.
A pair of free-throws from Savage brought BVU back to within 11 yet again, but Wash U would then use an 8-0 spurt to go up 19 with just under five minutes to go, and the Beavers were unable to get any closer than the game’s final score.
Buena Vista wraps up its season at 17-11 overall, while the game also marked the final one in a Beaver uniform for seven seniors: Bissen, Jeff Janssen, Michael Elming, Joe Bohan, Trent Fisher, Andy Puhrmann and Chase Weaver.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.