YORK, Neb. -- The 19th-ranked Bellevue University men's basketball team escaped with a 55-54 victory over Waldorf College in the opening round of the MCAC Tournament (North Division) Friday night at the Freeman Center.
The Bruins (22-9) advanced to the MCAC Tournament semifinals and will meet York College at 5 p.m. Saturday night. The winner of that game will advance to the MCAC Tournament championship game on Tuesday (Feb. 26) at the highest remaining seed.
York defeated Haskell Indian Nations University, 72-70, in the second quarterfinal.
Dominique Grant led the Bruins with his third double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Shawn Tarver added 15 points, nine boards, and three blocked shots. Jamil Goodwin contributed with 11 rebounds, two blocks, and three points.
Jordan Nelson and Erik Brewer combined for 22 points to pace the Warrior offense.
After Waldorf scored the first five points of the contest, Bellevue rattled off 11-consecutive points and led by as many as eight, before the Warriors used an 10-2 run to knot the first period at 18-18 with 9:18 remaining before intermission.
The Bruins, who were led by nine first-half points from Everett Robinson, closed the period on an 11-5 run to take a 31-26 lead at halftime.
Goodwin grabbed nine rebounds in the opening period and BU outshot the Warriors, 44 to 34 percent.
Waldorf opened the second half on a 9-4 run to tie the game at 35-all at the 16-minute mark. The two teams battled back and forth until the Warriors used a 9-2 run to take a 51-46 lead with six minutes remaining in the contest.
Seven-straight points from Grant helped BU regain the lead at 55-53 with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
A free throw by Teddy Gibson cut the lead to 55-54 with 45 seconds left. After a defensive stand, Brewer missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Bruins escaped with the one-point victory.
Waldorf.....26 - 28 -- 54
Bellevue ...31 - 24 -- 55
WC: Nelson, 12; Brewer, 10; DeJohnet, 9; Carpenter, 8; Barrett-Burrell, 8; Gibson, 5; Graham, 2
BU: Grant, 17; Tarver, 15; Robinson, 9; Bernardo, 5; Dotson, 4; Goodwin, 3, Zamudio, 2