BELLEVUE, Neb. -- BJ Shelton led four Bruins in double figures as the 19th-ranked Bellevue University men's basketball team recorded a pivotal, 84-60, win over Dickinson State University in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball game of the week Friday night in the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.
The Bruins improved to 16-8 on the season and 8-3 in the NSAA, moving BU to within one game of the league-leading Bluehawks. DSU fell to 18-8 overall and 10-3 in league play.
The win, which avenged an 82-69 road loss to the Bluehawks on Dec. 9, also marked head coach Shane Paben's 226th career victory, a school record. Paben, who is in his ninth season, is now 226-71 (.761) in his BU career.
Shelton added eight rebounds and three assists in the victory. Jalen Hall came off the bench to register 15 points, four assists, and two boards. Jerred Cook finished with 14 points and three assists. Jaffery Stillman recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
DSU, which shot 41 percent from the field and only 23.8 percent from behind the arc, was led by Gilberto Shojgreen and Reggie Fields who both collected 10 points and five rebounds.
The Bluehawks shot just 33 percent from the field in the first half as the Bruins grabbed a 41-28 halftime advantage. The Bruins hit 7-of-14 3-pointers in the opening period and were led by Hall's 13 points and two assists. Cook nailed three triples in the first half, scoring nine points while adding a pair of assists.
DSU was paced in the first half by Jake Buck, who registered six points, three assists, and one steal.
The Bruins used a 9-2 run to open the second half, grabbing a 20-point advantage at 50-30 with 17:40 left in the game. Bellevue expanded the lead to 24 points following a 3-pointer by Tyler Morgan at the 13-minute mark.
After the Bluehawks went on a 9-2 run to slice the lead to 17 points at 66-49 with 6:46 remaining in the contest, the Bruins put the game out of reach with a seven-point run over the next two minutes to take a 73-49 lead at the 4:47 mark.
DSU did not get closer than 22 points the remainder of the contest as BU cruised to the 24-point victory.
The Bruins will host Mayville State University on Saturday (Feb. 4) at 5 p.m. at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.