LINCOLN–(NWU Athletics Nov. 17) – All five starters scored in double figures as #8 Nebraska Wesleyan remained unbeaten with an 88-81 victory over Hardin-Simmons University on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 17) in NCAA III men’s basketball action at Snyder Arena.
NWU built up a 16-point lead with just under four minutes left in the game, then HSU came storming back going on a 12-0 run to cut the lead down to 81-77 with just 57 seconds left in the game.
Jack Hiller made 1-2 at the free throw line to push the lead to five points, but the Cowboys responded with a basket to cut the lead to three points at 82-79 with 44 seconds left. Nate Bahe went 4-6 at the foul line the next three trips down for NWU and the Cowboys couldn’t score on their end to allow NWU to seal the victory.
The Cowboys (2-1) were picked to finish 2nd in the American Southwest Conference and were one win away from the NCAA III Tournament last season. They went toe-to-toe with the nationally-ranked Prairie Wolves all afternoon.
Nebraska Wesleyan led by four points at halftime 45-41, then the Cowboys came out of the locker room with a spurt. HSU started the half on a 12-3 run to take a five-point lead just five minutes into the half. Their last lead was 59-57 with 11:26 remaining.
Made 3-pointers from Cordell Gillingham and Jack Hiller got the NWU offense rolling and they ran out to an eight point lead forcing a Cowboys timeout. NWU kept the pressure on and got up by 16 points to completing the 26-8 run.
Nate Schimonitz continued his All-American caliber start to the season pouring in 26 points on 11-17 shooting on Sunday. He added four assists and three rebounds after scoring 35 points on Saturday night.
Dylan Dirks had his biggest scoring output of the season, getting 11 points in the first half on his way to 19 points. Dirks was 3-6 from 3-point land and 8-9 at the free throw line. Jack Hiller scored all 12 of his points in the second half and Clay Reimers also chipped in 12 points with eight rebounds and five blocks.
Nate Bahe just missed a double-double and was close to a triple-double finishing with 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Chris Barrett shot 8-10 from the field to score 17 points and lead Hardin-Simmons. Barrett also had eight rebounds and six assists. Kyle Brennon scored 16 points with Neal Chambliss coming off the bench for 15 points on 7-8 shooting with eight rebounds.
Nebraska Wesleyan was outshot for the first time all season making 48.4 percent from the floor, compared to 49.2 by the Cowboys. NWU did hold a +9 advantage in rebounds.
Up next for the Prairie Wolves is a trip to Chicago next weekend to compete in the Midway Classic. NWU opens the weekend with a rematch against No. 15 St. Thomas, the team that knocked the Prairie Wolves out of the NCAA III Tournament one year ago.