The Buena Vista women’s basketball team nailed nine first half three-pointers to help build a 10-point halftime lead, and it never looked back from there en route to an 86-71 home win against Luther College, on Wednesday night. The win moves the Beavers into a tie for sixth-place with Cornell College with only the match-up against the Rams remaining on Saturday afternoon.
Senior Jessica Christensen, who was one of five seniors playing their final career home game, turned in a game-high 23 points, on 7-of-16 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds. Sophomore Susan Kies buried a career-high five three-pointers and followed with 19 points, while senior Laura Hilby drilled four from beyond the arc and post 14 points, to go along with a career-high seven assists, as well as five rebounds and four steals.
BVU Christensen scored 17 of her 23 points in the first half, as she and Kies each connected on three long range buckets.
BVU led 16-9 in the early going before the Norse used a 14-4 run to take a 23-20 lead midway through. Kies then knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game at 23-23 before Christensen nailed a long range shot to break a 25-all tie and jump start the Beavers on a 27-17 run to close the half.
The Norse were able to get within 62-56 eight minutes into the second half, but it was Kies nailing yet another triple to put BVU back up by nine. Tara Lehner’s jumper then put the team up by double-digits with 11 minutes to play. After Luther got back within eight three minutes later, Brooke Wehle put the Beavers back up by 10 and the team led by at least that same margin the rest of the way.
BVU finished the game shooting 43.7 percent from the floor, while burying a season-high 13 three-pointers, to go along with an 11-for-13 effort at the free-throw line.
Rachel Stenhaug scored a game-high 24 points to lead Luther College (6-18, 3-12 IIAC).
The game marked the final home contest for Christensen, Hilby, Amanda Roder, Kiara Bogan and Crystal Davis.
Buena Vista improves to 11-13 overall (6-9 IIAC) and will travel to Mt. Vernon for a 2:00pm contest against Cornell College. The winner of that game will earn the sixth and final spot into next week’s Iowa Conference Tournament, which begins on Tuesday night.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.