Junior Wes Nordquist turned in 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while senior Jeff Janssen added 12 points, and the Buena Vista men's basketball team remained alive to clinch at least a share of the Iowa Conference regular season title by cruising to a 67-49 home victory on Senior Night over Luther College on Wednesday night.
Nordquist finished the game shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 8-of-9 at the free-throw line, while also recording four steals and two blocks. Janssen buried a pair of pivotal three-point buckets in the contest, giving him 150 in his career. Senior Doug Bissen fell one point shy of a double-double, scoring nine points and matching a season-high with 13 rebounds.
Luther scored the game's first bucket, but then Nordquist scored six of the first eight points for BVU, including a monster dunk following the first of his four steals, and BVU never trailed the rest of the way. He later gave the team its first double-digit lead at 22-11 with just more than 10 minutes gone by. After Luther got back within nine, a three-pointer by senior Andy Puhrmann put the Beavers up by 12 with eight minutes to go in the first half, and the Beavers maintained the double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Alex Savage gave BVU its largest lead of the first half (36-17) with two minutes to go, as BVU took a 38-23 lead into intermission.
Luther got back within 11 at 46-35 with 11 minutes to play in regulation, but Janssen responded with a three to bump the margin back to 14 before a bucket by Nordquist extended it to 16. Senior Joe Bohan put BVU up by 20 with his three-pointer at the 8:00 mark and Luther never got closer than 15 from there.
The Beavers finished the game shooting 43 percent from the field and out-rebounding the Norse, 46-27.
Zach Matos led Luther (16-7, 10-5 IIAC) with 12 points.
The win is the seventh in the last nine games for BVU and moves the team to 14-10 overall (10-5 IIAC). It's also the 15th time under Coach Van Haaften that the Beavers have won at least 10 conference games in a single season.
The team will now close out the regular season this Saturday afternoon with a road contest at Cornell College (3-21, 1-14 IIAC). A win by the Beavers coupled with a Luther win over Coe College (17-7, 11-4 IIAC) would give BVU a four-way share of the regular season crown.