After the Beavers overcame a 21-point second-half deficit to tie the game at 60-60 with less than nine minutes to play, it was Bethel University (2-1), which nailed 15-of-28 three-point shots in the contest, using a 21-9 spurt late in the half to hang on and edge BVU, 91-84.
Senior Wes Nordquist (Adel, Iowa/ADM) turned in his second double-double of the year by scoring 25 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He shot 10-of-14 from the field and made his first three-point shot since his freshman campaign. He also sank all four free-throw attempts, dished out two assists, had two blocks and tallied three steals.
Fellow senior Dustin Kruse (Hinton, Iowa/Hinton) came off the bench and played a career-high 18 minutes and scored a career-best 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He also tallied two of the team's 14 steals. Freshman Nick Clark (Fort Dodge, Iowa/St. Edmond) was in double figures for the second straight game, turning in 11 points.
BVU used a 54 percent shooting effort from the field in the second half (19-of-35) to build its comeback and finished the game shooting 48 percent overall, while also converting 16-of-22 free-throws.
The Royals were a sizzling 54 percent from downtown for the game (49 percent overall) and also sank 16-of-19 from the charity stripe.
Taylor Hall recorded a game-high 31 points, including 4-of-4 from downtown, and grabbed 14 rebounds, as Derek Wolhowe followed with 21 points and seven boards.
Bethel led 20-12 in the early going before the Beavers stormed back with a 10-0 spurt to grab a 22-20 advantage midway through the first half. The Royals then tied it at 22-22 before Hall buried one of his four triples on the night to give Bethel a 25-22 lead. From there, the Royals built a 38-28 lead and took a 50-34 lead into the break.
Back-to-back buckets to start the second-half gave Bethel its largest lead of the night at 21 before BVU scored eight straight points to begin its comeback. Nordquist scored nine of the team's 26 points during the stretch, including the game-tying bucket. But it was Hall again, nailing a three and adding a lay-up to spark the eventual game-winning run by the Royals.
Buena Vista is now 1-2 on the year and will begin its home schedule on Saturday night by hosting #15 UW-Stevens Point at 7:00pm. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since BVU edged the Pointers 54-53 back in 2007-08 to earn a spot into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament.