BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Jemeil King scored 23 points to lead the Bellevue University men's basketball team to their third-straight victory as the Bruins topped Valley City State University 72-65 on Saturday evening in North Star Athletic Association action at the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse.
Bellevue: 13-6 (3-0 NSAA)
Valley City: 4-12 (1-2 NSAA)
Recap: Bellevue 72, Valley City 65
Fueled by the momentum of their comeback victory less than 24 hours earlier, Bellevue raced out to a 16-4 lead on a basket from Lewis Hayes at the 12:24 mark of the first half and seemed to be in control early.
After the Bruins pushed their lead to a game-high 14 points (24-10) on a bucket from Niamey Harris with 8:56 to play in the opening half, VCSU engineered a 19-2 run to take a 29-26 lead with 1:26 left in the period.
A pair of free throws from Harris and a bucket by Isaiah Bates ahead of the buzzer gave the Bruins a 30-29 lead at the break.
The teams combined to shoot just 37.7 percent in the first half.
Bellevue and Valley City traded blows early in the second half with neither team gaining more than a one-possession lead until Jaron Dickson made a tough shot in the paint to put BU ahead 44-39 with 14:13 to play. That was part of a 9-0 Bruin run that gave Bellevue a 49-39 lead with 12:43 left in the game.
The Bruins kept the Vikings at arms length until a Chris Thompson layup capped a 6-1 mini-run that pulled VCSU within three, 68-65, with 27.9 seconds to play.
BU sank four free throws in the final 13 seconds to preserve the victory.
King finished with a game-high 23 points with Harris (13) and Bates (10) joining him in double figures. Harris added six boards and four assists to lead BU in both departments. Lewis Hayes turned in eight points while Amenofis Mitchell and Jaylen Wiltz each tossed in seven in the victory.
Bellevue turned in one of their best free throw performances of the season, hitting on 17-of-20 attempts (85%) on the evening.
Kevin Schramm led the Vikings with 17 points and seven rebounds. Connor Entzi chipped in 16 points and six boards.
Bellevue returns home to the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center next weekend for a pair of conference games. The Bruins host Presentation College on Friday at 7:30 p.m. before entertaining Mayville State University at 5 p.m. on Saturday.