Senior Wes Nordquist (Adel, Iowa/ADM) had a monster game with a season-high 28 points to go along with 21 rebounds, as the Beavers shot 56 percent overall en route to a hard-fought 82-74 home victory over Simpson College (4-8, 0-1 IIAC) during the Iowa Conference opener on Saturday evening.
Nordquist connected on 9-of-12 attempts from the field and made 10-of-12 at the free-throw line. He moves into ninth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,365 points and his 21 boards give him his seventh double-double of the year and gives 750 career rebounds.
Sophomore Cole Darrow (Glenwood, Iowa/Glenwood) followed with 11 points and six rebounds, as senior Troy Ticknor (Adel, Iowa/ADM) added nine points and was one of four players to dish out three assists.
As a team, BVU connected on 28-of-50 attempts from the field. It also made as many free-throws (20) as Simpson attempted. Despite turning the ball over 19 times, the Beavers were able to out-rebound the Storm 39-28.
The Beavers got out of the gates quickly, jumping out to an early 19-6 lead with six minutes gone by. The lead hovered around 10 for the next nine minutes until BVU used an 11-2 run to build its largest lead of the contest (16) at 34-18.
The Storm, however, finished the half strong, using a 15-6 run to get back within seven at the break. They got as close as four with a minute to go in the half before a late three-pointer from junior Michael Kaufmann (Harlan, Iowa/Harlan) gave the Beavers the 40-33 halftime edge.
Simpson kept the momentum going to start the second half, getting back within two, but that would be as close as it would get the rest of the way, as a three-pointer from freshman Nick Clark (Fort Dodge, Iowa/St. Edmond) put the Beavers back in front by double-digits at 54-43 with under 14 minutes to go.
The Storm continued to hang around, cutting the deficit back down to four midway through the half, and the game was back-and-forth for most of the half. After BVU went back up 10 with under four to play, Simpson again got within four near the one-minute mark, but the Beavers were able to piece together a bucket from senior Tyler Pleiss (Omaha, Neb./Ralston) and four straight free-throws to hang out for the thrilling win.
Five players scored in double-figures for Simpson, led by AJ Arrington's 18 points.
BVU improves to 9-3 overall (1-0 IIAC) and also gave head coach Brian Van Haaften is 330th career victory. The team looks to make it nine straight wins when it hosts Loras College (5-7, 0-1 IIAC) on Wednesday, January 9, in an 8:00pm contest.