Bemidji State drops 97-93 thriller at Northern State
Saturday, February 14, 2004
Feb. 14, 2004

ABERDEEN, S.D. -- [box score] The Northern State Wolves used a 36-9 scoring advantage from the foul line in winning a 97-93 thriller against Bemidji State tonight in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men's basketball action. The Beavers kept themselves in the game setting a season high with an 18-of-34 shooting display from three point land. BSU set the school record of 20 three's last season.

BSU, which came into the game ranked 10th in the North Central Region, fell to 16-8 and 11-2 in the league. Northern State, ranked No. 5 in the region, won its 12th straight overall improving to 19-5 and 11-2 in the NSIC.

The advantage went to BSU's favor in the early going as the long ball was dropping. The Beavers first three shots were of the three-point variety with junior point guard James Roberson canning all of them. Senior Charles Hanks then went to work, scoring two baskets down low and giving the Beavers a 13-11 lead.

NSU hung around and eventually took control thanks to superb shooting. With the score 36-32 for BSU, the Wolves went on a 19-6 run to close out the half and take a 51-42 lead into the locker room. The hosts shot a sizzling 71 percent from the floor and out-scored BSU 15-5 from the foul line. Roberson kept the guests in it thanks to a four-of-six effort from beyond the arc in recording 17 points by the half.

Northern State grabbed its largest lead of the game at 68-56 with 13:50 remaining in the second half. But the Beavers went on a 24-6 run to go up by six at 80-74 with nearly eight minutes to play. The hosts stayed close, using the boisterous fan base and good free throw shooting to pull off the victory. The Wolves scored 10 points from the charity stripe in the final five minutes; BSU did not make an attempt from the foul line during that stretch.

BSU finished 45 percent from the floor and a hot 90 percent from the foul line. Also, the Green and White shot 53 percent from three-point land. The Wolves shot an unbelievable 68 percent (27-of-40) from the floor and 36-of-44 (.818) from the charity stripe. NSU held a 31-26 rebounding edge.

Hanks and Roberson finished with a team-high 26 points apiece with Hanks complimenting his scoring output with six rebounds.

Matt Hammer, who scored 12-of-15 from the foul line, led five Wolves in double-figures with 28 points. Center Aaron Busack went a perfect seven-of-seven from the field, finishing with 18 points in 23 minutes.

Wrapping up a four-game road swing, the Beavers invade SW Minnesota State and Wayne State (Neb.), Feb. 20-21. Both games begin at 8:00 p.m.

NOTE: BSU, which trails the overall series with Northern State 18-42, had its four-game winning streak snapped against the Wolves...BSU is enjoying one of its most successful eras in school history with a three-year victory total of 50 wins - the 1971-74 teams recorded 52 victories....Charles Hanks became the No. 2 scorer in school list as he pushes his career total with 1,482...Despite the loss, the Beavers have assured themselves of a first-round playoff game at the BSU Gymnasium for the NSIC Tournament...This weekend, BSU is without the services of junior Ian Atkins who is sidelined 1-2 weeks with an injured foot suffered Feb. 7...BSU held its opponents to under 45 points in the first half in 17 straight games before tonight; Northern State had 51...BSU now falls to 24-1 when scoring 90 or more points since the 2000 season...With Roberson and Hanks scoring 26 points apiece, it was the first time two Beavers have gone over 20 points since Hanks and Johnson did the feat against Winona State, Jan. 3, 2004....18 of BSU's 33 field goals came from three-point land.