In a battle of the top two teams in the American Rivers Conference men’s basketball standings, it was No. 8 Nebraska Wesleyan earning an impressive 99-85 road victory at Loras College Saturday afternoon (Jan. 4) in Dubuque, Iowa.
The Prairie Wolves (11-2, 4-0 A-R-C) led by as many as 20 points in the second half at the site where NWU last lost a conference game nearly a year ago.
NWU was red hot from the field shooting 58.0 percent for the game (40-69) making over 72 percent of its two point attempts inside the arc. The Prairie Wolves scored 56 points in the paint, driving to the basket or finding open cutters in the flow of the offense.
After trailing 51-38 at halftime, Loras (10-3, 3-1) scored the first eight points of the second half to cut the lead down to five points. NWU scored nine of the next eleven points to get the lead back to double digits with 14:27 left in the game. With the score 62-52, the Prairie Wolves went on a 9-0 run and got back in command for the rest of the way.
Nate Schimonitz remains one of the top offensive players in NCAA III basketball as he put up 32 points on 13-18 shooting while dishing out a team-high five assists. Schimonitz was 3-5 on 3-pointers and 3-4 at the free throw line scoring 18 points in the first half, then adding 14 more in the second half.
It was far from a one man offensive show with five total Prairie Wolves reaching double figures in scoring.
Clay Reimers posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Dylan Dirks also scored 16 points with Jack Hiller scoring 13.
A big bonus for the Prairie Wolves offense was the scoring output of Connor Riekenberg off the bench getting 12 points on 4-5 shooting, hitting 3-4 from 3-point range. Riekenberg’s previous season-high was only three points.
Loras shot 51.5 percent overall from the floor, but struggled on 3-point shooting making 6-18 from long range.
Jordan Boyd led four Duhawks that reached double figures in scoring ending the game with 22 points to go along with eight rebounds.
Nebraska Wesleyan now returns home for the first time since Dec. 4, opening a three-game homestand Wednesday, Jan. 8 against Simpson College in a 7:30 pm game that can be heard on KFOR & kfornow.com. The Nebraska Wesleyan women’s basketball team lost 102-74 to #23 Loras Saturday, despite a career-high 40 points from 5’3” NWU guard Caitlin Navratil.