The Nebraska Wesleyan men’s basketball team won its 18th straight Snyder Classic game but it wasn’t easy with Willamette University pushing the Prairie Wolves the entire way in a101-84 victory Saturday (Nov. 30) at Snyder Arena.
NWU and Willamette were tied 64-64 with 12:41 left in the game, then the Prairie Wolves used a quick 7-0 run to break open the game. A 19-2 run over a five minute stretch gave NWU a cushion to earn their seventh victory of the season.
The Prairie Wolves (7-1) closed the game outscoring the Bearcats (1-5) 37-20 the final 12 minutes of the game.
Willamette, out of Salem, Oregon, led by as many as nine points early in the game and held the lead for the first ten minutes of the contest. The Bearcats made nine first half 3-pointers to stick right with the Prairie Wolves trailing only 48-43 at the break.
Offensively, the Prairie Wolves were just as effective shooting 55.2 percent in the opening half and hitting 7-14 from 3-point range. Jack Hiller, the Snyder Classic MVP, scored 20 of his points in the first half hitting six 3-point baskets.
In the second half, the Bearcats cut the lead to one point just under four minutes into the half, forcing Coach Wellman to sub in an entirely new lineup on the court. Willamette actually took the lead on a basket by leading scorer Daniel Plummer with 13:24 remaining in the game. That would be their last lead of the game.
Nebraska Wesleyan shot a blistering 61.3 percent as a team in the second half (19-31), making 6-12 from 3-point range. They ended the game at 58.3 percent overall and 13-26 from 3-point range.
Willamette was led by guard Daniel Plummer who had a game-high 30 points, scoring 16 in the first half and 14 more in the second half. He also dished out six assists and pulled down seven rebounds. Inside, Ben Sutton scored 19 points with eight rebounds.
Hiller was the high-point scorer for the Prairie Wolves with 27 points, tying the Classic record with seven made 3-pointers. He was 7-13 from long range and pulled down six rebounds to earn MVP honors.