BELLEVUE, Neb. -- The 10th-ranked Bellevue University men's basketball team won its ninth-straight game after posting a 96-86 win over York College Saturday night in the semifinals of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.
Bellevue (27-5) will play at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in the conference championship game on Tuesday, March 4 in Bartlesville, Okla.
York ends its season with an overall mark of 17-13.
Given Kalipinde scored a game-high 20 points, on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, to go along with three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Alex Worthen-Harris posted a double-double with 14 points and set career-highs in rebounds (11) and blocks (4).
The Panthers scored the first four points and opened a 17-14 lead seven minutes into the game, but BU outscored YC by 10 to close the opening period and take a 50-43 lead at halftime.
Kalipinde and Worthen-Harris combined for 21 points and six rebounds to lead the BU offense in the first half.
YC opened the second half on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 52-52. The rest of the half would remain close as neither team led by more than six points.
Leading by two (82-80) with just under four minutes left in the contest, the Bruins closed the game on a 14-6 spurt to pull out the conference tournament win, 96-86.
Heyvis Jackson and Reggie Sonnier paced the Panthers with 17 points and two blocks apiece. Sonnier also recorded 10 rebounds.
YC: Jackson, 17; Sonnier, 17; Vaughn, 14; Brewer, 13; Mignott, 12; Marshall, 9; Monaghan, 2; Willis, 2.
BU: Kalipinde, 20; Young, 14; Dotson, 14; Worthen-Harris, 14; Hammock, 13; Ames, 13; Strong, 5; Chonis, 3.