Senior forward Joseph Easley had his second double-double in as many nights and helped the Nebraska Wesleyan men’s basketball team defeat College of St. Scholastica 88-72 Saturday at the 17th Annual Snyder Classic. With the win, the Prairie Wolves improved to 5-0, their best start since 1997-98. NWU is the only remaining undefeated team in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC).
Easley led five NWU players in double figures with a game-high 19 points and tied a Snyder Classic record with 28 rebounds in the tournament, including 11 against the Saints. Easley was named the tournament’s MVP and joined teammate Mark Heiser, who dished out a game-high 8 assists Saturday, on the All-Classic Team.
Sophomore guard Marcus Minzel added 16 points for Nebraska Wesleyan. Brandon Arp and Tyler Ideus came off NWU’s bench to contribute 12 and 10 points, respectively.
In Friday’s game, Nebraska Wesleyan rode a pair of career-best performances in handing the University of California-Santa Cruz a 75-71 setback. Senior guard M.J. Hrabik scored a career-high 18 points, including several clutch free throws down the stretch. Easley had a career-high 17 rebounds to go with a team-high 20 points, and senior teammate Brian Cooley added 14 points.
Easley, who was later named GPAC Men’s Player of the Week, also helped the Prairie Wolves dominate preseason NAIA Div. II No. 6 ranked Concordia University (Neb.) 65-49 on Nov. 22. Easley finished with 12 points, while Minzel added 15 and Heiser had 10. The Prairie Wolves, who never trailed, limited Concordia to less than 30 percent shooting from the field in the game.