FOREST CITY, Iowa -- Senior Connor Dukes drilled a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining, capping a 19-point second-half comeback as the Bellevue University men's basketball team upset NAIA Division I No. 3-ranked Wayland Baptist University, 79-78, Saturday afternoon at the Hanson Fieldhouse in the Waldorf Classic.
With the win, the Bruins improved to 4-3 on the season. Wayland Baptist suffered its first loss of the season, dropping to 4-1 overall.
Jemeil King led three Bruins in double figures, finishing with 22 points along with six rebounds a pair of assists. King was 5-of-8 in 3-point field goal attempts. Dukes finished with 12 points, including a 4-of-4 effort from behind the arc. Jaylen Wiltz also collected 12 points, all on 3-pointers.
The Bruins nailed 15-of-29 3-pointers in the victory while shooting 48.9 percent from the field on the day.
WBU was led JJ Culver, who finished with 40 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
The Pioneers used a 12-2 run early in the first half to grab a 20-8 advantage with 12:52 left in the period. WBU led by as many as 14 points in the first period and both teams were held scoreless over nearly three minutes before a pair of free throws by Jack Nobles gave the Pioneers a 34-21 advantage at the six-minute mark.
A 3-pointer by Dukes brought BU to within 10 points with five minutes remaining. WBU scored the final seven points in the opening half to take a 45-28 advantage at the break.
King led BU in the first half with eight points and two rebounds, while Amenofis Mitchell and Wiltz scored six points apiece.
Culver paced the Pioneers with 16 first-half points.
The Pioneers extended the lead to 19 points early in the second half before BU used a seven-point run capped by a 3-point play from King to draw to within 12 points at 47-35 with 16:54 left in the game.
A 13-point BU run, sparked by a pair of 3-pointers from King, gave the Bruins a two-point lead at 66-64 at the 5:15 mark.
After another 3-pointer by King gave the Bruins a five-point advantage, the Pioneers used a 9-2 run to take a 75-73 lead with 1:39 left in the contest.
Lewis Hayes nailed one-of-two free throws to make it a one-point game at 75-74. After Culver drilled a 3-pointer, Niamey Harris' layup drew BU to within two points at 78-76 with 36 seconds remaining. A missed jumper by Culver set up Dukes' game-winner with three ticks left on the clock.
Culver drove the length of the floor but his finger roll shot was waved off as he did not get his shot off in time, giving the Bruins the dramatic one-point victory.
The Bruins will travel to La Crosse, Wis. next Friday, Nov. 23 where they will play No. 24-ranked Saint Francis (Ind.) at 5 p.m. in the Viterbo University Invitational.