ARDEN HILLS, Minn.—Bethel University remained perfect on the season thanks to an 83-76 victory over UW-La Crosse Saturday evening. The Royals (3-0, 0-0 MIAC) jumped out to a 40-32 lead at the midway mark and cruised to a seven-point nonconference win over the Eagles (1-3, 0-0 WIAC).
BU trailed UW-L 14-8 with 12:34 remaining in the first half, but the Royals were unstoppable over the next 10:37, as they manufactured a 29-12 run to go ahead 37-26. Bethel was 12-for-22 during that stretch with four 3-pointers.
The Royals stretched their lead to 12 early in the second half. The Eagles managed to cut BU's advantage to two, however, with 2:52 remaining, but Bethel was able to convert several clutch shots and many attempts from the free throw line.
The charity stripe proved to be the difference Saturday night, as the Royals made 21-of-30 (70 percent) attempts, opposed to UW-La Crosse, who made 12-of-20 (60 percent) chances. Bethel made 27-of-60 shots from the floor (45.0 percent) and 8-of-22 from downtown, while UW-L cashed in on 53.7 percent of their shots from the field and 40.0 percent from outside the arc. BU edged the Eagles on the glass 36-33 and capitalized on second-chance points, outscoring La Crosse 17-6.
Trevor Hall and Bridgeport Tusler each scored 17 points throughout the night. Hall was 7-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the foul line, while also contributing five rebounds, four steals, and three assists in 35 minutes played. Tusler finished 4-of-7 from the floor, 1-1 from downtown, and 8-of-12 from the free-throw line, while also boarding four shots and dishing five assists in 30 minutes of play.
Tim Hanson recorded his first collegiate double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds coming off the bench. Hanson also added three assists in his career night. Hanson's counterpart down low, Derek Magnuson, also concluded the night with double figures, scoring 12 points on5-of-7 shooting.
The Royals will put their perfect record to the test Tuesday, November 24 at home against Buena Vista University. BVU put the first chink in BU's armor one year ago, so fans can anticipate another great nonconference matchup. Tipoff in Arden Hills is scheduled for 7 p.m.