Beavers Steal 75-73 Victory Over Colorado State-Pueblo at Chuck Stephens Classic
PUEBLO, Colo. – [box score] After 13 lead changes and the game being tied eight times, Bemidji State University senior forward Amir Major (Chicago, Ill.) put back a Spencer Carter (Chicago, Ill.) errant shot to give the Beavers a 75-73 advantage over the Chuck Stephens Classic host Colorado State University-Pueblo with just 37 seconds to play. The Thunderwolves would have two chances to win the game in the final 30 seconds, but BSU would pull down two key defensive rebounds to escape with its first road with of the 2004-05 season (75-73).
Rebounding was a key for the Beavers tonight. Not only did it put the win on ice during the final moments, BSU dominated the glass throughout the game ending with a 35-25 rebounding edge. Of those 35 rebounds 18 were on the offensive end of the floor and were converted into 20 second-chance points. The BSU rebounding victory was a team effort as ten Beavers grabbed at least one board with Carter leading the team with seven.
Junior Duane Fields (Los Angeles, Calif.) lifted BSU to a 41-34 halftime lead hitting 6-of-8 from three-point land for 18 points. BSU Head Coach Patrick Smith commented, "Duane Fields is a great offensive player and he proved that tonight. It was not only the shots that he hit, he also came out in the first half and gave us confidence and got us off to a good offensive start and we needed that."
The Beavers went into the break holding the seven-point lead after shooting 15-of-36 (41.7 percent) from the floor and 8-of-21 (38.1 percent) from beyond the arc. They held a 20-11 edge on the glass and 10-12 advantage on turnovers.
CSUP came out to score the first five points of the second half shrinking the BSU lead to just two points (41-39). BSU would counter by scoring eight of the next 11 points to regain its seven-point halftime lead.
The Thunderwolves would hit four of five three-point field goals during the next four minutes to tie the game 54-54 as Colorado State-Pueblo took its first lead in more than 15 minutes (56-54) on a pair of free-throws by Matt Brooks with 9:26 to play.
The score would be tied twice and the lead changed hands three times in the final six minutes of the game before Alvin Muse (South Holland, Ill.) hit a jumper with 1:15 remaining to knot the game at 73-73. After a quick steal by Fields, BSU got two good looks at the hoop, missing them both but hauling in the offensive board on each attempt with the second getting put by by Major to give BSU a 75-73 lead and the win.
BSU had five players garner double-digit scoring totals with Field taking top honors with a game-high 21. Major and Muse continued to be producers for BSU putting in 13 and 12 respectively. Senor James Roberson (Chicago, Ill.) dished out four assists to pace the team while fellow senior Ian Atkins (Detroit, Mich.) collected the team's only block.
The win is the first road victory of the season for BSU, the first road win as an NCAA Division II head coach for Smith and it ends a seven-game road losing streak dating back to Feb, 21, 2004. The Beavers are now 4-5 on the season with a chance to even their record before returning to Minnesota as the team will wrap up the classic with a 5:00 p.m. (CST) tilt versus New Mexico-Highlands. Tune in to 89.7 FM90 as Josh Harvey broadcasts the final game of the road trip live from Pueblo, Colo.