Despite seeing its 10-point lead with five minutes left go out the door, the Buena Vista men’s basketball team made just enough free-throws in the end and escaped an overtime thriller, 70-68, on Saturday afternoon at the University of Dubuque (11-3, 1-2 IIAC).
BVU built its largest lead at 57-47 with 5:07 left in regulation and continued to lead by eight with under three minutes left. Dubuque, however slowly clawed its way back into the game from there, trimming the lead to 64-62 with 53 seconds left. BVU then turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds pass and Dubuque went onto tie the game at 64-64 with 36 seconds left after sinking a pair of free-throws.
The Beavers had a final shot to win it in regulation, but Nick Clark’s (Fort Dodge, Iowa/St. Edmond) runner in the lane as time expired rimmed off the back of the iron, sending the game into overtime.
Playing extra minutes for the first time this season and for the first time since falling 77-74 at home to Coe back on February 4th of last season, BVU trailed 68-66 with 3:27 left before sophomore Cole Darrow (Glenwood, Iowa/Glenwood), who turned in a game-high 14 points on the day, calmly sank a pair of free-throws to even things up at 68-68 with 2:11 left.
Following a missed three-pointer from Dubuque, senior Wes Nordquist (Adel, Iowa/ADM) grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He went onto give the Beavers the lead for good after making 1-of-2 at the line.
Dubuque had a chance late to take the lead, but missed a jumper just inside the paint with six seconds left. Darrow grabbed the rebound and was immediately fouled where he went to the line and made the first before missing the second. The Spartans had one final chance to send the game into double-overtime, but their shot attempt was off target, sending the Beavers to their 10th straight win this season.
Darrow finished the game shooting 4-of-8 from the field and 5-of-8 at the free-throw line. He was followed by Clark and senior Tyler Pleiss (Omaha, Neb./Ralston), who each added 10 points. Nordquist, who entered the game with the second-most double-doubles in all of DIII this season, finished just shy of his ninth, scoring nine points and grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. He did all that, despite picking up his fourth personal foul just seconds into the second half.
As a team, the Beavers shot 42 percent from the field, including 6-of-18 from downtown, but made just 20-of-32 attempts from the free-throw line.
Dubuque, which shot just 37 percent from the floor, got a game-high 24 points from Mitch Michaelis.
Buena Vista improves to 11-3 overall, 3-0 IIAC, and returns to action again on Wednesday night for an 8:00pm road contest at Luther College (10-4, 3-0 IIAC.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.