BSU Gets Ousted by UM-Duluth, 81-75 in the Semifinals
Saturday, March 6, 2004
Mar. 6, 2004

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Duluth men’s basketball team shot 58 percent in the second half and out-scored Bemidji State, 45-30 in the final 20 minutes, coming out with a 81-75 win over the Beavers this afternoon in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Semifinals. The BSU loss marks the third time in four seasons that it has been dropped by the Bulldogs in the NSIC Semifinals.

BSU battled back to a 73-76 score after a three-pointer by senior guard Adam Daley with 2:53 remaining. That basket capped a 10-2 spurt. But, the Beavers were unable to complete the comeback as the Bulldogs went three-of-four from the foul line in the final 35 seconds.

BSU, which records its first 20-win season in school history, falls to 20-9 overall. UMD, which will face No. 2 seed Northern State tomorrow in the NSIC Tournament Championship, improves to 18-11 overall.

Neither squad led by more than five points in the first half until a trey by junior James Roberson sparked a 13-3 BSU run to give the No. 1 seed a 45-36 lead at the half. The Beavers went six-of-seven in the final 1:56 to enjoy the halftime cushion.

After shooting 47 percent in the first half, BSU’s shooting touch went cold in the second frame. A lay-up by UM-D’s Sean Seaman followed by a two-pointer by Dusty Decker brought the Bulldogs to within 41-45. Coupled with BSU missing seven straight shots and Minnesota Duluth going on a 17-5 run in the first 6:21 of the second half, UM-D took a 53-50 lead.

Eight straight points by Decker and two baskets by Matt Rawley gave UM-D its largest lead, 74-63 with 5:01 to go in the game. A foul shot by senior Charles Hanks was the first point of a 10-2 counter with 2:53 remaining. However, the lead was just too much to overcome for a BSU squad that was 18-0 this season when leading the half.

The Beavers struggled from the floor overall, going 39 percent overall and just 30 percent in the second half. UM-Duluth stepped up in the final 20 minutes, going 58 percent and finishing 50 percent for the game. Both teams did not fare well from the foul line with Minnesota Duluth shooting 67 percent while BSU was 56 percent.

BSU was led by sophomore Kenneth Pointer’s 18 points, a season-high. Junior James Roberson added 14 points on four-of-seven shooting from beyond the arc. Junior Sherwin Johnson came away with 13 points and senior Adam Daley, who came up one shy of the Tournament record for three-point attempts (13), recorded 11 points.

Decker led all scorers with 24 points, knocking down five trifectas. Ryan Breidenbach, who entered the contest averaging six points on the season, chipped in with 18 points on seven-of-10 shooting. Sean Seaman posted 14 and a team-high seven boards.

The Beavers now await the decision of the NCAA Regional Committee to see if regional play is on the horizon. Sitting at No. 7 in the North Central Region in Wednesday’s poll, the top-eight teams advance to NCAA Regional Play, Mar. 13-14, 16. However, the BSU loss means it will have to get an at-large big. The committee chooses the field of 64 this Sunday evening.

NOTE: As the final meeting between these two clubs, UM-Duluth leaves the conference with a 77-34 overall mark against the Beavers...The 39 percent shooting is BSU’s worst since it went for 36 percent in a 73-64 loss to North Dakota, Dec. 14, 2003...The Beavers were 14-for-37 from three-point land, missing out on their Tournament record of 17-of-39 against Winona State in the Quarterfinals last season...Adam Daley’s 13 three-point attempts falls one shy of Nick Schroeder’s 14 attempts in 2002..BSU now drops to 0-3 in the Tournament Semifinals...BSU held a slight 14-9 advantage in three-pointers...2003-04 NSIC Player of the Year Charles Hanks finished with just seven points...BSU allows just its fifth opponent on the year to make 50 percent of its shots as UMD finished at exactly 50 percent...BSU lost for just the second time this season when winning the rebounding battle after it held a 41-38 advantage tonight...BSU finished with a season-low seven turnovers.