Bruins' comeback gives Paben 100th win

Bruins' comeback gives Paben 100th win

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The Bellevue University men's basketball team outscored Haskell Indian Nations University 41-25 in the second half as they erased an eight-point halftime deficit to post a 75-67 win in Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference action Saturday evening at the Tony Coffin Sports Complex.

Sixth-ranked Bellevue improved to 20-5 and 8-1 in the MCAC while Haskell dropped to 8-16 overall and 2-7 in league play.

The win also marked head coach Shane Paben's 100th career victory. Paben, now in his fourth season at BU, has a career record of 100-28 (.781) including a 39-8 (.830) mark in the MCAC.

For the sixth time this season, Richard Shepherd led BU in scoring, registering 24 points with six 3-pointers. James Parrott notched his second double-double of the year, recording 16 points and 11 rebounds while also adding two assists and two blocks.

Jelani Johnson also scored in double-figures with 13 points and six rebounds, making nine of his 11 shots from the free throw line while Ousseynou Diop recorded 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.

The Bruins shot 51 percent from the field, including seven 3-pointers, while making 18-of-23 (78.3 percent) from the free throw line. This was BU's 12th time they have shot 50 percent or better from the field this season. HINU shot 38.3 percent from the field. The Bruins also held a 37-30 edge in rebounds.

The opening stanza featured eight lead changes and two ties. With HINU leading by two, 22-20, the Indians would outscore the Bruins 20-14 in the final seven minutes to take a 42-34 lead at intermission. BU shot 50 percent from the field, but were plagued by nine turnovers, while HINU turned it over just twice and shot 40.6 percent while making all 12 of its free throw attempts.

Brady Fairbanks led HINU with 18 points while Shepherd recorded 13 first half points including three 3-pointers to pace the Bruins.

Trailing 49-40 early in the second half, the Bruins used a 28-12 run to take a 68-61 lead fueled by eight points by Parrott and three 3-pointers by Shepherd to take a 68-61 lead. The Indians managed to cut BU's lead down to five, 70-65, on a pair of free throws by Fairbanks, but that's the closest the Indians got as the Bruins made five of their six shots from the charity stripe in the closing minutes to record the eight-point conference win, 75-67.

After holding the MCAC's leading scorer to a season-low two points in the Bruins' 81-60 win in Bellevue on Jan. 28, Fairbanks scored a game-high 25 points to pace the Indians.

The Bruins will return to the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center on Friday, Feb. 10 when they play host to Southwestern Christian University in conference action at 7:30 p.m.