Sophomore Cole Darrow (Glenwood, Iowa/Glenwood) led four Beavers in double-figures on Wednesday night with 16 points, while senior Wes Nordquist (Adel, Iowa/ADM) added his eighth double-double of the year (14pts, 10rbs), and the Buena Vista men’s basketball team hung on in the end for a thrilling 79-74 Iowa Conference victory over visiting Loras College (5-8, 0-2 IIAC).
Darrow made 5-of-12 shots from the field and 5-of-6 at the free-throw line, while also grabbing five rebounds. Nordquist went 4-of-9 from the field and 6-of-9 at the charity stripe. Freshman Nick Clark (Fort Dodge, Iowa/St. Edmond) and senior Troy Ticknor (Adel, Iowa/ADM) each buried 3-of-6 from downtown to chip in with 13 and 11 points, respectively. As a team, BVU made 10-of-24 from downtown in the contest and finished the game shooting 47 percent from the field overall.
Ticknor and junior Michael Kaufmann (Harlan, Iowa/Harlan) each hit three-pointers to help cap an early 12-2 BVU run just four minutes in. A three-pointer from senior Max Burgeson (Milford, Iowa/Okoboji) made it an 11-point advantage two minutes later before Loras ran off seven straight points to get back within four.
Darrow’s bucket midway through the half put BVU back up by double-digits before the Duhawks again answered with a run to close the half. They grabbed their first lead at 40-38 with just over two minutes left before the two teams went into the locker room all-square at 42-42.
An 11-2 run to begin the second half put Loras in front by nine with 15:35 left. BVU, however, had an answer of its own, scoring 13 straight points over the next two minutes to go up four. Clark scored 11 of those points for BVU, including a pair of three-point buckets.
Six straight by the Duhawks again put them back in front 61-59. The game then went back-and-forth with neither team leading by more than two until Loras made it a 74-71 game with 2:28 left.
Senior Tyler Pleiss (Omaha, Neb./Ralston) then made a pair of free-throws to make it a one-point game before Darrow tied it at 74-74 by making 1-of-2 at the line. After a missed shot from the Duhawks, BVU brought the ball across half court, and after a timeout, got a big three-point bucket from Ticknor to put the team up 77-74 with 53 ticks left.
Loras then missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 opportunity and Nordquist pulled down the rebound and got the ball to Clark, who was fouled and went to the line and made both shots for the five-point lead. Loras then had a pair of opportunities to make it a two-point game, but misfired on both three-point shots and BVU secured its ninth straight win.
Buena Vista is now 10-3 overall and has won back-to-back games to start the conference schedule for the first time since going 3-0 back in 2009-10. It will have a chance to match that mark when it plays its first IIAC road game on Saturday afternoon at the University of Dubuque (11-2, 1-1 IIAC). Tip-off against the Spartans is scheduled for 4:00pm.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.