MADISON, S.D. -- Turning in its best defensive performance in six seasons, the Bellevue University men's basketball team defeated Dakota State University, 66-45, on Thursday evening in the North Star Athletic Association-opener for both teams at the DSU Fieldhouse.
Bellevue: 5-8 (1-0 NSAA)
Dakota State: 2-8 (0-1 NSAA)
Bellevue won its third NSAA-opener in four seasons, downing Dakota State 66-45 on the road on Tuesday evening.
Offensive play was slow in the early going with Dakota State holding an 8-6 lead at the 11:43 mark but the Bruins ran off 14-straight points in just 3:49 to snag a 20-8 advantage.
BU stretched the lead to a game-high 17 points on a power dunk by Josh Meier with 1:38 to go in the period.
The Trojans scored the final five points of the half, including three-quarter court heave from Anthony Costello at the buzzer to trim the halftime deficit to 37-25.
Meier paced the Bruins with seven first-half points while Costello pumped in 10 for the home-standing Trojans.
Bellevue matched their largest lead on a banked three-pointer by Stephen Matthews and, after allowing a Josh McGreal bucket at the other end.
Connor Dukes drained a trey to key an 8-0 Bruin run that put BU up 54-31 with 10:46 to play.
Meier led the way for Bellevue with 15 points and eight rebounds. Sequan Walker was the only other Bruin in double figures with 10 points while Dukes added eight points.
Jaron Dickson paced the BU rebounding efforts with 10 boards as Bellevue won the battle of the boards by a 40-27 margin.
Bellevue limited Trojan leading scorer Justin Folkers (21.6 ppg) to just four points on 2-of-7 shooting from the floor.
Costello was the lone Trojan in double figures, finishing with a team-high 12 points. McGreal added eight points and collected eight caroms in the loss.
BU out-shot DaSU 47.4 to 34.7 percent from the floor.
The Bruins (5-8) return home for the first time since Nov. 3 when they host Nebraska Christian College (4-6) at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10 at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.
- The 45 points by Dakota State are the fewest points ever allowed by BU in an NSAA game.
- The 45 points by Dakota State are the fewest points allowed in a conference game, or against any opponent, since Feb. 1, 2013, when they defeated Central Baptist, 57-43.