Senior Brooke Wehle (Denison, Iowa/Denison-Schleswig) turned in a game-high 18 points to help lead five players in double figures, and the Beaver defense came up big in the second half to help lift the team to a commanding 87-66 home victory over Luther College (13-10, 5-7 IIAC) on Saturday afternoon.
Wehle made 6-of-12 shots from the field and 5-of-6 at the free-throw line. She also pulled down six rebounds, dished out four assists and tallied two steals. Sophomore Becca Pennington (Mt. Ayr, Iowa/Mt. Ayr) drilled a pair of three-point buckets and followed with 13 points, while junior Susan Kies (Fonda, Iowa/Newell-Fonda) and freshman Lexi Fisher (Glenwood, Iowa/Glenwood) each made three three-pointers to chip in with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Junior Malarie Gilley (Grand Junction, Iowa/East Greene) added 10 points to reach double figures for the first time in five game games.
As a team, the Beavers connected on 10-of-25 from downtown, marking the fourth time this season that the team made at least 10 in a single game. They shot 44 percent from the field overall, while also sinking 17-of-19 at the charity stripe.
Defensively, senior Tara Lehner (Le Mars, Iowa/Le Mars), who sits second in the conference in rebounding, grabbed a game-high 11, as BVU out-rebounded the Norse, 48-35. The team also held Luther to just 25 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes.
BVU squirted out to an early 14-3 lead and minutes later pushed it to 12 on an Alex Lynott (Hawarden, Iowa/West Sioux) three-pointer. Luther, however, out-scored BVU 39-26 the rest of the half to take a 42-40 lead into the break.
Luther led by three early in the second half before a three-pointer by Fisher at the 17:43 mark gave BVU the lead back at 47-45 and the Beavers never trailed the rest of the way. A jumper by Wehle with under 10 minutes to play bumped the advantage into double-digits at 69-58 before Fisher followed with another one from downtown to make it a 14-point cushion.
A pair of Luther free-throws cut it back down to 12 with 8:15 left. BVU then scored seven straight points to bump it up to 19, and the Norse never got any closer than 15.
Buena Vista has now won three straight games overall and improves to 11-12 (4-8 IIAC). It will look to make it four straight wins when it travels to Wartburg College on Wednesday night for a 6:00pm tip-off.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.