Beavers Defeat Southwest Minnesota State 94-84 on Senior Night
Saturday, February 12, 2005
BEMIDJI, Minn. - [box score] On a night when Bemidji State University honored its four seniors before the opening tip, it was fellow fourth-year players James Roberson (Chicago, Ill.) and Amir Major (Chicago, Ill.) that stepped up and led BSU to its 15th victory of the season and into sole possession of first place in the NSIC standings, with a 94-84 win over Southwest Minnesota State University.

Major and Roberson combined for 41 percent of BSU's offense netting 21 and 18 points respectively while Roberson collected his second career double-double adding a season-high 10 assists.

The Beavers started the game hitting 11 of their first 13 shots led by Alvin Muse (South Holland, Ill.) who netted 13 points, hitting his first five shots including three from behind the arc. Roberson added 10 points during the stretch nailing a trio of three-point fields goals.

Despite the fast start, BSU led by just 11 points (32-21) after 11 minutes and 21 seconds of play. SMSU's Nic Hogan was four-for-five from downtown to keep the Mustangs within striking distance.

The Mustangs continued to climb back into the game using a 10-2 run during the next four minutes to inch back to within three points (34-31). The Mustangs kept pace with the home team for the final minutes of the half and would use a 9-0 run during the last 120 seconds of play to give SMSU a 47-44 lead at the half.

The Beavers allowed SMSU to net the first bucket of the half to go up 49-44, but Major hit a lay-up to bring the Beavers within three of the Mustangs (49-46) with 19:31 left in the game.

During the next five and a half minutes, BSU did not allow SMSU to go up by more than three points tying the game (53-53) at the 16:52 mark on a jumper by Major and took the lead two minutes and 29 seconds later (58-56) when junior Spencer Carter scored from downtown.

Bemidji State would never relinquish the lead, stretching it to as many as 13 points three times late in the game before cruising to the 94-84 win.

Muse led all BSU players with 22 points on eight-of-16 from the floor and a four-for-nine night from beyond the three-point arc. In addition to the solid play of Roberson and Major, junior Derrick Beechum (Davenport, Iowa) netted 15 points to round out BSU's top four scorers hitting seven-of-11 from the line. Major also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

SMSU's Matt Fletcher scored 23 points while pulling down seven rebounds to pace the Mustangs. Hogan added 20 while LaRon Down scored 14 points, pulled down six rebounds and collected eight assist before leaving the game late in the second half due to an injury.

Before the contest, BSU took a moment to honor its four seniors, Ian Atkins, Mike Fore, Amir Major and James Roberson, who played their final regular season game in front of the BSU Gymnasium crown Saturday evening.

The win lifts BSU to 15-8 overall while pushing the team to the top of the league standings with a 9-1 NSIC record as Northern State lost its game Saturday, 96-74, at Winona State to fall to 8-2 in conference play.

The Beavers will get their chance to increase their lead over the Wolves next weekend when they make the trip to Aberdeen, S.D. to battle Northern State in an 8:00 p.m. tip-off Friday. Saturday the team travels north to Moorhead, Minn. for an 8:00 p.m. showdown with Minnesota State-Moorhead.