BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Led by Justin Bessard, three Bruins scored in double figures as the Bellevue University men's basketball team battled to a 63-55 victory over visiting Presentation College Saturday night in North Star Athletic Association action at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.
The Bruins improved to 8-11 on the season and 2-1 in the NSAA with the victory. Presentation fell to 10-7 overall and 2-1 in league play.
Bessard led the Bruins with 14 points and six rebounds. Jaron Dickson added 13 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Sequan Walker was the third Bruin in double figures, finishing with 11 points along with two boards and a pair of assists.
Jalen Guidry paced the Saints with 15 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Devonta Brooks and Mychal Deas both chipped in with 10 points apiece.
The two teams played evenly throughout the first half with the largest lead for either squad being four points. BU outshot the Saints in the opening 20 minutes, 44.4 to 40 percent, taking a narrow 30-27 lead into the intermission. Richard Reed and Bessard paced the Bruins in the opening half as both scored seven points. Bessard added five rebounds. Guidry led PC in the opening period with nine points and a pair of rebounds.
After the Bruins built an eight-point lead following a layup by Bessard, the Saints battled back, scoring seven consecutive points to pull to within a point a 42-41 at the 11-minute mark.
Capped by 3-pointers from Connor Dukes and Walker, BU responded with a 10-1 run to take a double-digit lead at 52-42 with 6:25 remaining in the contest.
The Saints countered with a seven-point run to draw to within three points at 52-49 with 3:18 left in the game.
Dickson nailed five free throws and scored eight points in the final 2:25 to seal the eight-point victory.
The Bruins outshot PC, 45.8 to 35.8 percent, holding the Saints well below their season average of 53.7 percent.
The Bruins will head to Mayville, N.D. next Friday, Jan. 11 for a 7:30 p.m. NSAA contest at Mayville State University. The Comets are receiving votes in the most recent NAIA top 25 poll.