MADISON, S.D. -- Lewis Hayes and Connor Dukes scored 15 points apiece and BU withstood a late DSU charge, as the Bellevue University men's basketball team recorded a 67-63 victory at Dakota State University Saturday night in the North Star Athletic Association opener for both teams at the DSU Fieldhouse.
With the win, the Bruins improved to 7-5 on the season and 1-0 in the NSAA. The Trojans fell to 3-9 overall and 0-1 in league play.
Hayes was 7-of-10 from the field while adding a game-high eight rebounds. Dukes hit 5-of-6 shots including going 2-of-3 from behind the arc.
Gare Ewefada and Josh McGreal led the Trojans with 14 points apiece.
BU out-rebounded DSU, 34-25 and the Trojans were plagued by an 11-of-20 performance from the charity stripe.
After trailing 6-2 in the early going, the Bruins went on a 10-0 run to take a 12-6 advantage with 14 minutes left in the first half. DSU got as close as a single point in the opening half, before the Bruins pulled away with a 13-point (34-21) halftime lead, capped by a short jumper by Jaron Dickson at the buzzer.
The Trojans battled to within four points, opening the second half on a 16-7 run to pull to within four points at 41-37 with 13:25 remaining in the game. DSU made it a one-point game at 43-42 following a 10-foot jumper by Gare Ewefada at the 11-minute mark.
A 3-pointer by Jaylen Wiltz gave BU a 52-46 advantage, forcing a Trojan timeout with 6:33 left in the contest.
After a free throw by Hayes made it a nine-point contest (56-47), the Trojans went on a six-point run to pull to within three points at 56-53 with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
After the two teams traded buckets and turnovers, Harris nailed a pair of free throws to expand the lead back to five points, before Ewefada drilled a deep 3-pointer to draw the Trojans to within two points at 60-58 with just under 30 ticks left on the clock.
Harris hit two more free throws and DSU responded with a 3-pointer from Brady Van Holland to make it 62-61 with 20 seconds remaining.
Dickson hit one-of-two free throws to make it a two-point contest. A steal by Wiltz on the ensuing play and two more free throws by King gave BU a 65-61 advantage with 13 seconds left.
After a layup by Ewefada, Dukes was fouled and he drained a pair of free throws to make the final, 67-63.
The Bruins will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Dec. 16-17 where they will compete in the Puerto Rico Clasico. BU will take on Politecnica (P.R.) on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. and Sacred Heart (P.R.) on Dec. 17, also at 6 p.m.