Bruins down No. 19 MNU, 73-66, in Holiday Classic

Jalen Hall scored 14 points and grabbed three rebounds in the win.
Jalen Hall scored 14 points and grabbed three rebounds in the win.

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BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Jalen Hall and Austin Moore both poured in 14 points to lead the Bellevue University men's basketball team to a hard-fought, 73-66, win over NAIA Division I No. 19-ranked MidAmerica Nazarene University in the Fairfield Inn & Suites Holiday Classic Friday night at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center. 

The win avenged a 91-66 loss to the Pioneers on Nov. 3 in Olathe, Kan. Bellevue improved to 8-7 on the season with the victory. MNU fell to 8-4 overall. 

Hall, who was just 2-of-11 from the field, sank 10-of-13 free throws while adding three rebounds and a pair of assists. Moore scored all 14 of his points in the first half and added five rebounds in the win. Richard Reed was the third Bruin in double figures, finishing with 11 points, two assists, and a steal. 

Hudson Welty led three MNU players in double figures, finishing with 14 points to go along with seven rebounds. Jonathan Green registered 12 points, six rebounds and a pair of steals. Dante Scroggins scored 11 points and pulled down a game-high eight boards.  

After a 3-pointer by Connor Dukes gave the Bruins an early 15-7 lead five minutes into the contest, the Pioneers used an 11-2 run over the next three minutes to take an 18-17 lead with 12:21 left in the first half.

Moore responded by scoring 10 points over a 3-minute span as BU gained a 33-24 advantage with 8:25 left before intermission. 

The Bruins built a 12-point advantage at 40-28 following a layup by BJ Shelton at the 5:05 mark. The Pioneers got as close as seven points following a five-point run before the Bruins settled for a 10-point advantage at the break, 45-35. 

Moore led BU in the opening half with 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting including hitting all three of his 3-point attempts. He also grabbed a team-high four rebounds. Mitchell McMullen paced the Pioneers in the first half with eight points and an assist. 

Although the Bruins were outshot 54 to 43 percent in the first half, BU hit 7-of-14 3-point attempts, compared to 0-of-5 for the Pioneers. 

Bellevue used a 5-0 run to gain a 15-point edge at 61-46 with 10 minutes left in the contest. The Bruins maintained a 17-point lead until MNU scored 10-consecutive points to pull within seven points at 70-63 at the 2:09 mark.   

After Hall nailed a pair of free throws, Green countered with three-straight free throws to narrow the margin to six points at 72-66 with just over a minute remaining. Hall sank another free throw in the final 30 seconds to make the final, 73-66.  

Bellevue outshot the Pioneers, 41 to 38.2 percent and MNU connected on just 1-of-13 3-point attempts in the game. 

The Bruins will conclude the tournament on Saturday with a 4 p.m. contest against No. 22-ranked College of the Ozarks.