January 30, 2013

Buena Vista foils Storm upset bid in OT

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Michael Kaufmann hit the game-winner with two seconds left in overtime and Wes Nordquist stole the ensuing inbound pass, helping Buena Vista escape Cowles Fieldhouse with a 76-74 win over the Simpson men's basketball team on Wednesday night.

Simpson trailed 74-71 before Austin Hennings hit a step-back 3 from the left corner to tie the game with 11 seconds left. Kaufmann – who didn't make a shot the entire second half – proceeded to take the ball down the floor and hit a pull-up jumper from the left wing with 2.2 seconds left. After a Simpson timeout, Nordquist plucked a lobbed inbound pass near half court as time expired.

Hennings put forth a monster performance, scoring a season-high 32 points on 11-for-18 shooting with 14 rebounds. Drew Bentley added 14 points and Elijah Knox had 10 and six assists for the Storm (6-14, 2-7 Iowa Conference), who dropped their third straight game to Buena Vista.

Tyler Pleiss came off the bench to score 21 points, Troy Ticknor had 13 and Kaufmann finished with eight for the Beavers (15-5, 7-2), who won their fourth in a row.

Simpson hung around with the No. 2 team in the Iowa Conference despite playing without the services of starting forward AJ Arrington – who was averaging better than 12 points over the last four games – thanks in large part to a solid defensive effort. Even with an extra five minutes, the Simpson defense held Buena Vista below its league-leading average of 77.7 points. In particular, BV's leading scorer and rebounder, Wes Nordquist, managed only four points and six rebounds after coming in averaging 17 and 11.

Knox used some late-game heroics of his own to force overtime. Trailing 65-63 with 12 seconds left in regulation, Knox made an acrobatic, one-handed layup to tie the game with four seconds left.

Simpson hosts league-leading Luther on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Norse (14-5, 7-1) play at Loras on Thursday.