Defense stymies Viterbo as Bruins pick up NSAA win

Nick Hilton scored 20 points and matched a career-high by dishing out seven assists
Nick Hilton scored 20 points and matched a career-high by dishing out seven assists

NSAA Standings

Box Score

BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Nick Hilton drained six three-pointers as he matched a season-high by scoring 20 points to lead the Bellevue University men's basketball team to a 69-54 win over Viterbo University in the North Star Athletic Association-opener on Saturday evening at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.

Bellevue levels their overall record at 5-5 open NSAA play 1-0. Viterbo suffered just their second loss in their last nine games as they fall to 7-4 overall and 0-1 in the North Star.

The game got off to a fast start with both sides trading three-pointers on their respective opening possessions. BU's first four field goals all came from beyond the arc as they drained a season-high 12 triples.

BU took their largest lead of the first half at the 9:27 mark when Richard Reed capped a 9-0 run with a layup to put the Bruins up 24-12.

The V-Hawks hung around over the remainder of the period and went into the half trailing by eight, 39-31.

Three-pointers on consecutive possessions by Hilton saw Bellevue grow their lead to 45-31 with just over two minutes gone in the second half and Viterbo couldn't climb within nine the rest of the way.

Hilton led three Bruins in double figures with his 20 points while Reed and BJ Shelton scored 10 apiece. Hilton had a season-high seven assists while Shelton added seven boards.

Drew Apsher and Austin Moore each scored eight for BU with Moore pulling down a team-high 10 rebounds. Bellevue out-rebounded Viterbo by a 38-34 margin.

Viterbo's 6-foot-10 Cade Anderson – the NSAA's rebounding leader – scored 13 points and pulled down 13 boards but did not factor down the stretch as he fouled out with 3:31 to play and the V-Hawks down by 10.

Jason Tichy led Viterbo with 14 points and Ethan Haberman added 11 to go along with four rebounds and four assists. Point guard Jared Fleischmann dished out five assists to go with his five points and six rebounds.

Viterbo came into the game averaging over 80 points per game but were held 15 points below their previous season-low (69 vs. Wisconsin-La Crosse) by a stingy Bruin defense.

Bellevue is back in action on Saturday, Dec. 9 when they travel to Aberdeen, S.D. for a 5 p.m. conference match-up against Presentation College.