Draemel Classic host Warriors take down Bruins, 88-77

BJ Shelton scored a season-high 16 points on a strong 8-of-11 shooting effort
BJ Shelton scored a season-high 16 points on a strong 8-of-11 shooting effort

FREMONT, Neb. -- The Midland University Warriors used a 16-2 run to begin the second half to turn a one-point lead into a comfortable advantage as they defeated the Bellevue University men's basketball team, 88-77, on Sunday afternoon in the Draemel Classic at the Wikert Event Center.

With losses in five of their last six games BU dips below .500 for the first time this season, falling to 4-5. Midland, winners of three-straight, improves to 7-2 on the year.

Midland was paced by Ryan Williams' double-double as he led all players with 26 points and 10 rebounds. TK Dixson scored 14 and dished out a game-high five assists while Reggie Gradwell and Chase Parsons scored 13 points apiece for Midland.

BJ Shelton led five bruins in double-figures with a season-high 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Richard Reed matched a season-high with 13 points off the bench. Austin Moore and Jalen Hall went for 12 each and Blake Wilder added 10 points.

The see-saw first half featured five ties and 15 lead changes before Midland entered the locker room with a narrow 42-41 halftime advantage. Bellevue's largest lead came in the game's opening minutes when a Connor Dukes three-pointer and a layup from Shelton made it 5-0 BU. Midland led by as many as four points, 42-38, but Moore hit a three-pointer at the 1:23 mark to pull the Bruins within a point.

Wilder gave BU an 43-42 lead with the first basket of the second half but a 16-0 Midland run over a span of just 3:38 gave Midland a commanding 58-43 lead at the 14:59 mark of the second half. The Bruins closed to within seven, 68-61 with 7:27 to play, following a 7-3 spurt but could get no closer despite scoring the game's final five points.

As a team Midland shot 55.2 percent from the floor to Bellevue's 52.7 percent effort. The Warriors also won the battle of the boards (30-22) and turned the ball over just nine times but BU scored 15 points off Warrior turnovers.

BU matched a season-best by shooting 50.0 percent from three-point range, draining a season-high 11 trifectas on the afternoon. The Bruins tied a season-low with just eight turnovers on the day leading to 12 points off turnovers for Midland.

Nick Hilton and Drew Apsher dished out three assists apiece for Bellevue and Hall totaled a season-best three steals in the game.

Bellevue opens NSAA play on Saturday, Dec. 2 against Viterbo University. The Bruins host the V-Hawks at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center with tip-off set for 5 p.m.