Spartans Handed First Loss by #6 NWU
Dec 7, 2019
DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque men's basketball team dropped their first contest of the 2019-20 season after the 6th-ranked Nebraska Prairie Wolves pulled away in the second half to upend the Spartans, 88-63.
Both teams got off to a slow start shooting the ball, with Nebraska Wesleyan being the first team to reach double figures six and a half minutes into the first half. After the early 8-7 lead, the Spartans would never lead again, however, they stuck within shooting distance in the first half despite being outshot by a 51.6% to 33.3% margin. UD never trailed by more than ten points in the opening 20 minutes and Avery Butler sank two free throws at the end of the first half to make it a 38-30 game in favor of NWU aft halftime.
The UD deficit would slowly build all the way up to 25 points at the 10:52 mark of the second half. The Spartans would not quit, getting hot from beyond the arc and suddenly cutting to deficit down to 15 in a three-minute span. However, the Prairie Wolves showed why they are the sixth ranked team in the nation and quickly ended the UD run and built their lead back up to 24, four minutes later.
Both teams were consistent from half to half shooting, the Spartans shot 33.3% and 34.5% to finish 33.9% from the field and Nebraska Wesleyan shot 51.6% and 51.4% to finish 51.5%. The Spartans did outshoot the Prairie Wolves from beyond the arc, sinking 14 threes at a 40% clip, while Nebraska Wesleyan sank just 10 of 32 three pointers for 31.3%.
Avery Butler led the Spartans in both points and rebounds on his way to a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Mitch Burger and Carter Stevens each added nine points, all of which came from three pointers.
A key difference in this game was the turnovers. While UD turned it over 21 times to NWU’s 13, the Prairie Wolves made a living off the UD turnovers, scoring 32 points off the 21 turnovers.
The Spartans will look to bounce back on Monday, Dec. 16th when they play host to Alma College at 6 p.m.