BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Justin Bessard and Sequan Walker combined for 31 points to lead the Bellevue University men's basketball team to a 64-59 victory over visiting Viterbo University Friday night in North Star Athletic Association action at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.
The Bruins improved to 11-11 on the season and 5-1 in the NSAA with the win. Viterbo fell to 9-11 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Bessard finished with 16 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Walker added 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Richard Reed contributed with eight points, five assists, and a pair of steals.
VU was paced by Jake Schroeckenthaler, who finished with 19 points and three rebounds. Jason Tichy added 13 points and a pair of rebounds.
After the V-Hawks scored the opening basket of the game, the Bruins used a 24-6 run capped by a 3-pointer from Bessard to race out to a 24-8 lead with 9:24 left in the first half.
VU responded with six-straight points over the next two minutes to slice the lead to 10 points at 24-14 at the seven-minute mark.
After VU drew to within eight points, Bessard nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bruins a 38-27 halftime advantage.
Bessard led BU in the first half with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. Reed added eight points and a pair of assists. Tyree Young (8) and Schroeckenthaler (7) combined for 15 points to pace the VU offense in the opening 20 minutes.
The Bruins outshot VU 53.8 to 42.3 percent in the first half and hit six 3-pointers. The V-Hawks were 0-of-3 from behind the arc in the opening half.
A Schroeckenthaler layup capped a 7-0 VU run to draw the V-Hawks to within six points at 43-37 with 12:38 left in the contest.
After 3-pointers from Walker and Jaron Dickson helped BU expand the lead to 12 points at 56-44, the V-Hawks countered with five-straight points to slice the margin to seven points at 56-49 at the 4:28 mark.
A 10-foot jumper by Noah Fredrickson dwindled the BU lead to four points at 59-55 with 1:56 remaining. On the next possession and with one second remaining on the shot clock, Connor Dukes drained a 3-pointer to make it a three-possession game at 62-55 at the 1:23 mark.
Jumpers by Tichy and Schroeckenthaler pulled the V-Hawks to within three points at 62-59 with 21 seconds left in the game.
Bessard and Walker each made 1-of-2 free throws in the final 20 seconds to preserve the 64-59 victory for the Bruins.
BU hit 12-of-31 3-pointers in the win, while the V-Hawks were just 2-of-7 from behind the arc.
The Bruins will host Waldorf University at 5:00 p.m. Saturday night in the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.