By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
LINCOLN, Nebr. -- Daniel Plumer (Fy., PG, North Las Vegas, NV/Democracy Preparatory Academy) led Willamette University with 18 points, five rebounds and five steals, but Buena Vista University (Iowa) defeated the Bearcats, 96-73, in the first round of the 2019 Snyder Classic on the campus of Nebraska Wesleyan University. Buena Vista upped its record to 7-0 on the season, while Willamette fell to 1-4.
Buena Vista has averaged 92.4 points per game, with the Beavers winning by an average margin of 24.6 points per game. Willamette's four losses have been to teams with a combined record of 19-7.
Plumer was 7 of 15 on field goals and 3 for 4 at the free throw line. Cade Whicker (Fy., F, Fruit Heights, UT/Davis HS) and Justus Eaglesmith (Jr., G, Sparks NV/Spanish Springs HS) added 14 points each for the Bearcats, while Alec Barba (Jr., G, Dallas, OR/Central HS) scored 11 points. Eaglesmith and Barba each connected on a trio of 3-pointers to lead Willamette. Whicker was successful on two 3-pointers.
The Beavers placed four players in double figures. Michael Demers topped all players with 21 points, as he went 8 for 15 from the field, including 5 of 11 on 3-point attempts. Timothy Jeffries tacked on 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Dominc Sesma accumulated 17 points, five boards and four assists. Lincoln Rock ended the game with 15 points, including three 3-pointers.
Two free throws by Whicker, a layup from Plumer, and a 3-pointer by Eaglesmith helped Willamette grab a 7-2 lead with 18:57 remaining in the first half. Buena Vista moved in front 10-9 on a 3-pointer by Demers with 17:00 on the clock, but Plumer brought Willamette back into the lead at 12-10 on a 3-pointer of his own 20 seconds later.
Over the next 5:09, each time went on a mini-run. The Beavers scored five consecutive points for a 15-12 advantage, but the Bearcats countered with a 6-0 run for an 18-15 margin with 11:31 left. WU was in front 20-18 a bit later, before Buena Vista went on a 14-0 surge to take a 32-20 lead. The run included seven points by Sesma, including a traditional three-point play to complete the run.
Willamette responded with an 8-0 run that started with a 3-pointer by Eaglesmith and ended with a 3-pointer by Whicker at the 6:01 mark. Whicker's trifecta reduced BVU's lead to 34-30.
The Beavers concluded the half with a 19-2 run, giving Buena Vista a 53-32 halftime margin. Only three Buena Vista players scored during the run, with Jeffries and DJ McNeal each scoring seven points and Sesma adding five points.
Buena Vista opened the second half by scoring 14 of the first 18 points to secure a 67-36 advantage. The Beavers remained in front by a sizable margin the rest of the way. Willamette ended the game with an 11-1 run that included eight points by Barba on two 3-pointers and a layup.
For the game, Buena Vista shot 46.2% from the field (38 of 78) and Willamette shot 44.8% (26 of 58). BVU outrebounded the Bearcats 51-32, including a 23-9 edge on the offensive glass. The Beavers hit 12 of 36 three-point attempts (33.3%), while the Bearcats went 9 of 24 from long range (37.5%). Each team sank 12 of 19 free throws (63.2%).
Willamette will take on host Nebraska Wesleyan University in the second round of the Snyder Classic on Saturday, Nov. 30. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. CST/3 p.m. PST.