Senior Jessica Christensen (Turin, Iowa/West Monona) turned in a game-high 27 points and added nine rebounds, while fellow seniors Amanda Roder (Remsen, Iowa/St. Mary’s) and Laura Hilby (Johnston, Iowa/Johnston) each scored 15 points and hauled in seven rebounds, but Northwestern College (IA) used a late surge to hold on and top the Beaver women’s basketball team, 90-79, on Saturday afternoon.
Christensen finished the game shooting 10-of-19 overall from the field and 4-of-4 at the free-throw line. She converted three of the team’s seven three-point buckets, while also posting a team-best three steals.
Hilby knocked down a pair of long range shots and finished 5-of-12 from the field overall, as Roder scored nine of her 15 at the free-throw line. Malarie Gilley (Grand Junction, Iowa/East Greene) came off the bench and chimed in with eight points and five boards in 14 minutes. Overall, the Beavers shot 35.7 percent from the field, including a 7-of-22 effort from downtown and turned the ball over just 13 times.
The Red Raiders came out of the gate and shot better than 62 percent from the field in the opening half, but the game was in single digits until they bumped it up to 15 with five minutes left in the stanza. Christensen then scored 10 of BVU’s final 16 points of the period to help get the Beavers back within eight at the break (49-41).
BVU stiffened up its defense in the second half and held Northwestern to only 36 percent shooting, but the Beavers made only 31 percent of their attempts.
A three-pointer by sophomore Susan Kies (Fonda, Iowa/Newell-Fonda) tied things up at 52-52 only three minutes into the second half before a 14-4 run by Northwestern gave the Red Raiders a 66-56 advantage with 13 minutes to play.
The Beavers hung around, keeping the game in single digits and getting as close as 72-69 with seven minutes to play. BVU was still within four with 3:30 on the clock before Northwestern ran off four straight points and took an 84-76 lead with just more than two minutes left, as BVU was unable to get any closer than six from there.
The Red Raiders, last year’s NAIA II national champions, had four players finish in double figures, including 21 points from Kendra De Yong and 20 points from Kami Kuhlman. Northwestern also out-rebounded the Beavers, 53-40.
Buena Vista, which lost for the first time in its last five games, is now 7-4 overall this season and will now step back into Iowa Conference play for the remainder of the regular season beginning with a home contest against Cornell College on Wednesday, January 4 at 6:00pm.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.