Buena Vista trailed by as many as 17 points with nearly six minutes to play before clawing all the way back within three with under 10 seconds to go, but a last-second three-point shot was just off target, and the Beavers fell 74-71 to visiting Loras College (11-2, 1-1 IIAC) on Wednesday night.
Three players scored in double-figures for BVU, led by senior Brooke Wehle’s (Denison, Iowa/Denison-Schleswig) game-high 17 points. She finished 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 at the free-throw line. Sophomore Becca Pennington (Mt. Ayr, Iowa/Mt. Ayr) connected on seven of her 10 attempts from the field and followed with 16 points, while junior Susan Kies (Fonda, Iowa/Newell-Fonda) made 3-of-4 from downtown and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe to add 15 points.
The game was tied at 4-4 early on before the Duhawks erupted on a 28-11 run over the next nine minutes to post their largest lead of the half 32-15. Wehle then made 1-of-2 at the line and later nailed a three-point shot to help spark a 7-0 BVU run to get the team back within 10. Freshman Lexi Fisher (Glenwood, Iowa/Glenwood) drilled a long-range shot to get the Beavers back within single digits before Kies sank a pair of free-throws and nailed a three to get them as close as four with just over one minute left in the half.
A pair of late free-throws from the Duhakws gave them the six-point lead (43-37) at the break.
Loras again ran out of the gate to start the second half, using a 16-5 run to go back up 17 midway through the period. A jumper from Fisher got the Beavers as close as 11 with just over eight minutes to go before Loras ran off six straight to go back up 17 with 6:23 left.
BVU was not about to go away, as Wehle sank a pair of free-throw and then assisted on Kies’ three the next time down the floor to pull back within 12. Pennington then hit a pair of jumpers around a made free-throw from Loras to cut the deficit to single digits before Wehle stepped up and hit two more free-throws to make it a seven-point game (67-60) with just over two minutes to play.
Loras made 1-of-2 free-throws to make it a 68-60 game, while senior Tara Lehner (Le Mars, Iowa/Le Mars), who led BVU with eight rebounds in the game, grabbed the board on the missed free-throw and then came down the floor and hit the jumper to get BVU as close as six.
Loras then made a bucket and hit a free-throw to extend the lead back to nine, but BVU had an answer with Wehle hitting her second three of the night to make it 71-65 with just more than a minute left.
Wehle later made it a three-point game with a layup with 10 seconds left, and after Loras missed a pair of free-throws, she hand a chance to tie things up at the buzzer but her shot just rimmed off the left side of the rim.
With her three three-pointers, Kies moves into sole possession of fourth on the program’s all-time list with 114. She’s now made at least three in each of the last seven games.
BVU finished the contest shooting 42.6 percent from the field, including 8-of-12 (60 percent) from downtown.
Loras finished at 44 percent from the field, despite shooting just 30 percent in the second half. It also went to the free-throw line 38 times, connecting on 23.
Five players scored in double-figures for the Duhawks, led by Brit Kent and Niki Rivera, who each turned in 13.
Buena Vista is now 7-6 overall this season (0-2 IIAC). The team looks for its first conference win of the year when it travels to the University of Dubuque (10-3, 0-2 IIAC) for a 2:00pm tip-off on Saturday afternoon.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.