Buena Vista got a career-high 13 points from Ryan Mendoza while Simon Daniel and Zane Neubaum each scored 10, but the Beavers couldn’t overcome a tough shooting night as No. 25 Saint John’s University held on for a 67-57 non-conference victory on Wednesday night in Collegeville, Minn.
Both teams finished the game under 40 percent from the field. BVU shot 44 percent in the first half before dropping to 25.8 percent in the second. Overall, the team was held to only 5-of-24 from long range after making a season-high 14 during the win over Fontbonne.
Mendoza made one of the five threes and was 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Neubaum and Daniel combined to go 2-of-12 from 3-point. Neubaum did grab three rebounds and had three steals.
The Beavers led by as many as seven points in the first half before the Johnnies closed the final 3 minutes on a 8-0 run to take a 31-30 lead into the break.
The game was tied multiple times over the first 5 minutes of the second half, but the Beavers couldn’t get over the hump and go on any sort of run. It was a 48-47 game with just over 7 minutes to play before a 7-0 Saint John’s run extended the cushion to eight points.
It was a five-point game with 5 minutes remaining, but that was as close as the Beavers could get. Saint John’s took its largest lead of the night at 67-56 with only 17 seconds left.
Kooper Vaughn led all scorers with 18 points for the Johnnies (2-1) while Mitchell Plombon added 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Buena Vista is now 2-1 on the season and will play host to No. 23 Elmhurst University on Saturday for its home opener at 2 p.m.