Beavers Stay Atop the NSIC Standings with a 81-70 Victory over Minnesota-Crookston
Saturday, January 29, 2005
CROOKSTON, Minn. - [box score] After missing its first four shots and beginning in a 8-0 after the first 1:59 of play, the Bemidji State University men's basketball team rebounded nicely to shoot 51 percent on the night (26-51) including a 12-for-23 performance from beyond the arc (52.2%). The solid and timely shooting performance powered the Beavers past the University of Minnesota-Crookston 81-70 at Lysaker Gymnasium in Crookston, Minn. Saturday holding onto a tie with Northern State University for first place in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings with a record of 6-1.

The Beavers trailed for the majority of the first half, but inched their way out of the 8-0 hole to tie the game (15-15) on a three-pointer by junior Alvin Muse (South Holland, Ill.) with 12:12 to play in the half and gain their first lead of the game just four minutes later on fellow junior Derrick Beechum's (Davenport, Iowa) first basket of the evening (21-20).

The Golden Eagles would come back to take the lead (25-23) and then tie the game (28-28), but each time UMC would make some sort of move, the clutch shooting hand of BSU senior James Roberson (Chicago, Ill.) would come through going a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range in the half's final six minutes to keep the Golden Eagles at bay. His final three of the half came with just three seconds to go giving the Beavers an extra boost of momentum going into the break putting the team up 41-34.

Junior Spencer Carter (Chicago, Ill.) would kick the second half off with his first three-pointer of the night giving BSU a 10-point advantage (44-34) just 29 seconds into the half.

When UMC's Lee Roberts drained three free-throws with 5:29 to go in the game, it brought Minnesota-Crookston to within four points (58-54) and capped off an 8-2 run buy the Golden Eagles. BSU's answer for the charging Eagles was Duane Fields (Los Angeles, Calif.). The junior knocked down three-point baskets on back-to-back trips down the court to quickly give BSU a 10-point cushion and put the eventual nail in the coffin just minutes later by hitting his fourth three off the evening ending another UMC run and putting BSU up by eight (71-63).

The Beavers were a perfect 6-of-6 from the line in the final minute smothering any ideas UMC may have had of creeping back into the game.

Fields led BSU with 21 points on 7-of-12 from the floor including a 4-of-5 night from three-point land. He was also the Beavers' top man on the glass finishing one board shy of his first double-double with a career-high nine. Roberson equaled a season-high 16 points and paced BSU with four assists.

Ahmid Palmer scored 21 points to top UMC's scoring list. Jon Smith netted 13 while Justin Henry scored 10 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

The win lifts BSU to 12-8 overall and 6-1 in league play. It is the third consecutive win over Minnesota-Crookston and puts BSU at 25-3 in its last 28 NSIC contests.

The same two teams will meet again just a week from today (Feb. 5) at the BSU Gymnasium to kick off the second half of the NSIC season. The game will be proceeded by the women's game is slated for a 8:00 p.m. tip-off.