BSU Steals a Nail-Biter at Home, 70-68
Friday, February 11, 2005
BEMIDJI, Minn. - [box score] With five seconds to go in the game, junior Spencer Carter (Chicago, Ill.) sank a free-throw to put the Bemidji State University men's basketball team up 70-68. He blocked a Todd Klostermann three-point attempt on the other end of the court as the final horn sounded to smother a Wayne State College come-back and secure BSU's eighth conference victory of the season.

Up nine points with 2:46 to play, BSU failed to close the door on the Wildcats missing the front ends of two one-and-one foul shooting opportunities, failing to convert a lay-up on a fastbreak and turning the ball over. WSC went on an 11-4 run during the next minute and 40 seconds to close to within one point of the home team (69-68) but when Klostermann put the second half of a two-shot foul off the side of the rim, Wayne State was forced to send the Beavers at the line to stop the clock. Carter hit the first to put the Beavers up by two with five seconds left to secure the win for BSU.

After playing catch-up for the first 5:17, Brett Watson put the Wildcats on top for the first time in the game with a lay-up. The teams exchanged the lead three times during the next four minutes but Brett Cain broke the tie with a pair of free-throws with 9:07 to play in the first (20-18) and Wayne State would never look back increasing their lead to seven points (36-29) as the teams went into the locker rooms at the half.

BSU struggled to get things flowing on the offensive end of the court Friday. During the first half the team was 13-for-29 while playing from behind for the majority of the stanza. Senior James Roberson (Chicago, Ill.) paced the team hitting a pair of threes and adding jumper for eight points.

BSU came out of the break to net 10 of the first 12 points of the half as Alvin Muse (South Holland, Ill.) drained a pair of threes and Derrick Fields (Los Angeles, Calif.) hit a jumper to swing the advantage back in BSU's favor (39-38) with 14:20 to play.

Wayne State quickly regained the lead on a triple from Brett Watson (41-39), but when Beechum found senior Amir Major (Chicago, Ill.) for an open jumper with 10:22 left, BSU grabbed the lead for good.

Bemidji State was led by Beechum who netted 17 points on the night. Major added 12 while Carter collected his fifth double-double of the season pouring in 11 points and pulling down 10 boards. He also added a game-high three blocks including one in the final moment of the game to put the BSU victory on ice. Roberson pitched in eight points and three rebounds while collecting a game-high four assists.

BSU's Duane Fields, who scored 10 points in the game, went down in the second half after failing to convert a lay-up opportunity. He did not return and is listed as questionable for Saturday's game.

Brett Watson led the Wildcats' offensive charge scoring a game-high 20 points. Brett Cain added 17 points while leading the Wildcats with eight rebounds.

The win lifts BSU to 14-8 overall and keeps the Beavers atop the NSIC standings tied with Northern State with an 8-1 record in league play. The team will be back in action tomorrow (Feb. 12) when it welcomes Southwest Minnesota State University to the BSU Gymnasium for its final home tilt of the 2004-05 regular season. Tip off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. with a short presentation honoring BSU's three seniors, Roberson, Ian Atkins (Detroit, Mich.) and Major preceding the start.