FREMONT, Neb. -- The Bellevue University men's basketball team showed a lot of fight during a second-half rally against No. 2-ranked Morningside College but Morningside withstood the Bruins charge as BU fell 81-70 on Saturday afternoon at the Draemel Classic, hosted by Midland University at the Warriors' Wikert Event Center.
#2 Morningside: 8-0
Recap: #2 Morningside 81, Bellevue 70
Morningside raced out to a 9-3 lead just over two minutes into the game, but an 11-2 spurt from the Bruins tied the game and showed BU was ready to play.
Bellevue hung tight with Morningside in the early going, taking a 25-20 lead at the 10:27 mark on a layup from Jaylen Wiltz. However, the Mustangs tightened up defensively as they rattled off 12 straight points, part of a larger 22-7 run to close the half, and take a 42-32 lead into the break.
Morningside pushed their lead to 11 points, 50-39, on a pair of free throws from Tyler Borchers. From there, Bellevue rallied to cut the deficit to just four points, 54-50, on a trey from Connor Dukes with 13:34 to play.
Jaron Dickson hit a trifecta at the 10:15 mark to pull the Bruins to within two points, 57-55, but that would be as close as BU would get the rest of the way.
Morningside quickly countered with five-straight points to stretch the lead back to seven points.
BU cut the Mustang lead to two possessions multiple times down the stretch run, but were unable to get the necessary defensive stops to pull closer.
Morningside hit 5-of-6 free throw attempts in the game's final 54 seconds as the Mustangs stretched the final score to 81-70, not indicative of how closely the game was contested.
Morningside received game-highs 23 points and eight rebounds from Tyler Borchers. Zach Imig and Alex Borchers scored 14 and 12, respectively, while Will Pottebaum dropped in 10 off the bench.
Bellevue wraps up play at the Draemel Classic tomorrow evening with a 5 p.m. tip-off against host Midland University.