Alex Linden, Sports Information Director
LINCOLN – While snow was falling outside, it was raining 3-pointers inside Snyder Arena as No. 1 Nebraska Wesleyan made 19 from long range as they rolled to a 102-71 victory over Simpson College in American Rivers Conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night.
The victory clinched at least a share of the regular season conference title, marking the third straight season the Prairie Wolves have won the basketball championship since joining the league. NWU can claim the trophy outright on Saturday when they visit Wartburg College.
NWU made their first six shots of the game to jump ahead 13-3 before Simpson knew what had hit them. The shooting did not cool off in the first half for the Prairie Wolves as they shot 59.4 percent overall and 55.0 from 3-point land hitting 11-20.
After sitting out one game with injury, Ryan Garver made his presence known catching fire in the first half. Garver made his final five shots of the first half, including three 3-pointers and went 8-10 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. Garver scored 20 points, hitting 4-4 on 3-point attempts while dishing out eight assists in the first half alone and at one point he had 20 of the team’s 40 points.
It was far from a one man show with three players reaching double figures in the opening half giving the Prairie Wolves a 56-36 halftime lead.
The shooting didn’t cool off much in the second half as the Prairie Wolves shot 54.8 percent from the floor, making 8-19 from 3-point range.
Overall the Prairie Wolves shot 57.1 percent for the game making 19-39 3-point attempts. Simpson did make 13 3-pointers of their own, but that was the only thing that went right for the storm.
NWU held a +21 advantage in rebounding, the third straight game the Prairie Wolves have outrebounded a team by 20 or more. All 18 Prairie Wolves that suited up got into the game and eleven different players scored.
Garver ended the night with 24 points and 10 assists for his eighth double-double of the season. He was 10-13 from the floor, 4-5 on 3-pointers with three rebounds and two steals.
Cooper Cook had a very impressive night of his own, making 5-6 from 3-point range and 6-7 overall to score 19 points with eight rebounds. Cook went over 1,700 points for his career and is now the 5thleading scorer in program history.
Clay Reimers scored 18 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Dylan Dirks was the other NWU player that reached double figures with 11 points as he made 3-4 on 3-pointers.
Kyle Wagner led Simpson with 20 points making four 3-pointers.
NWU hits the road this Saturday to face Wartburg College for a chance to earn the American Rivers outright regular season championship. The Prairie Wolves have their final home regular season game in one week for Senior Night.