BELLEVUE, Neb. -- The Bellevue University men's basketball team overcame a sluggish start Monday night before prevailing over Nebraska Christian College, 74-67, in non-conference action at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.
The Bruins improved to 6-8 on the season with the win. NCC fell to 5-7 overall.
Four Bruins scored in double figures, led by Jaron Dickson's 16 points, to go along with seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Josh Meier added 13 points and a game-high eight boards. Stephen Matthews was 3-of-4 from behind the arc, finishing with 11 points. Sequan Walker contributed with 10 points, five assists, and three rebounds.
The Sentinels were paced by DJ Hanes, who finished with 35 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
The Bruins shot just 28 percent in the first 12 minutes of the contest as NCC built a 24-16 lead, paced by Hanes' 12 points. The Sentinels maintained an eight-point advantage until a 9-0 BU run, capped by a Matthews' 3-pointer gave the Bruins a 31-30 lead with 13 seconds left in the half. Hanes drained a pair of free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining before intermission giving NCC a 32-31 edge at the break.
NCC outshot the Bruins 48 to 37 percent in the opening half as the Bruins connected on just 6-of-18 3-point attempts.
Matthews led BU in the opening half with 11 points, while Dickson added nine points and five rebounds. Hanes paced the Sentinels with 14 points, four rebounds and two steals in the first half.
BU opened the second half on an 11-5 run to build a five-point cushion five minutes into the second period. Three-consecutive BU 3-pointers gave the Bruins a 12-point advantage (53-41) with nine minutes remaining in the contest.
The Sentinels responded when Hanes scored all 10 points in a 10-2 run as NCC drew to within four points at 57-53 at the 4:59 mark.
After the Bruins expanded the lead to eight points at 66-58, Hanes scored four-straight points sparked by a steal and an emphatic dunk to pull NCC to within four at 66-62 with 1:24 left in the game.
BU nailed all eight of its free-throw attempts in the final 37 seconds to preserve the 74-67 victory.
The Bruins will travel to Vermillion, S.D. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, for an exhibition contest at NCAA Division I University of South Dakota. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.