BSU Use Long-Range Shot to Down Minnesota-Crookston 88-79
BEMIDJI, Minn. - [box score] The three-point shot can change the game of basketball in a hurry. The Bemidji State University men's basketball team demonstrated that Saturday evening when it hit eight treys in less than 11 minutes to move from a four-point (7-3) deficit to a 15-point lead (38-23). The Beavers went on to win the game 88-79 over the University of Minnesota-Crookston in front of 1,057 at the BSU Gymnasium.
After stumbling out of the gates, hitting just one of its first three shots and committing a pair of turnovers during the first three minutes of play, BSU turned its defensive pressure up a notch and honed in its three-point shooting marksmanship to pull ahead 38-23 with six minutes left in the first stanza.
Junior Alvin Muse (South Holland, Ill.) drained four threes on the run while senor Ian Atkins (Detroit, Mich.) ignited the BSU defensive effort making a block of a UMC shot on two consecutive trips down the floor.
The Beavers would shoot 54.8 percent (17-31) in the half including a 50.0 percent (9-18) effort from beyond the three-point stripe on their way to a 46-33 halftime advantage.
Bemidji State stretched its lead to as many as 20 points in the second half (73-53) with 9:30 to go in regulation before UMC began its comeback. The Golden Eagles recorded 11 unanswered points during the next 87 seconds to move to within eight points (73-65) and would twice come as close as five points in the final five minutes, but BSU would knock down 8-of-8 from the line in the game's final 1:15 to hold the Eagles at bay and gain its seventh NSIC win on 2004-05 and remain in a tie with Northern State atop the NSIC standings.
Muse led all scorers with 24 points on 7-of-16 from the floor including a career-high six three-pointers. Atkins hauled in a game-high nine boards while collecting three blocks. Fellow senior James Roberson (Chicago, Ill.) and junior Duane Fields (Los Angeles, Calif.) each collected six assists to pace the team.
Minnesota-Crookston was led by Jon Smith who scored 19 points while grabbing seven rebounds.
The win lifts BSU to 13-8 overall and keeps the Beavers atop the NSIC standings tied with Northern State holding a 7-1 record in league play. The team will be back in action next weekend (Feb. 11-12) when it welcomes Wayne State College and Southwest Minnesota State to the BSU Gymnasium for its final homestand of the 2004-05 regular season. Both games are scheduled to follow the women's games with an approximate tip-off time of 8:00 p.m.