Beavers Stay Atop the NSIC Standings With 94-82 Victory Over Northern State
Friday, February 18, 2005
ABERDEEN, S.D. - [box score] With first place in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and a second consecutive regular season title on the line, the Bemidji State University men's basketball team traveled to Aberdeen, S.D. Friday and prevailed claiming their 10th NSIC win, 94-82, over Northern State University.

Down 10 points (57-47) with 13:11 to go in the game, BSU mounted a 17-0 run, lasting three-minutes and 54-seconds, hitting five consecutive three-point field goals including a pair by Duane Fields (Los Angeles, Calif.). The stretch put BSU up seven (64-57) and into the lead for good as the team steadily increased its advantage, capping the night with a Fields dunk to take its largest lead of the second half, 94-82, with five seconds to play.

The Beavers got off to a fast start, hitting their first four shots taking a 14-2 lead just three minutes into the game. NSU would hover around the 12-point differential until Matt hammer hit a three with 7:48 remaining in the half to begin a 10-1 run to come within five points of the visitors (30-25). The Wolves ended the half scoring nine of the final 13 points to knot the game at 37-37, capped by a pair of free-throws by Craig Nelson just 10 seconds before the horn.

As the second half got under way, BSU sandwiched an Aaron Busack lay-up between Derrick Beechum (Davenport, Iowa) and Alvin Muse (South Holland, Ill.) triples. But Jarod Obering put the Wolves in the lead (44-43) with a jumper and a three-pointer on consecutive trips down the court.

Northern State held the lead for the next 7:45 increasing it to as many as 10 points with 13:11 to go in the game, before BSU began is 17-0 run and regained the lead for good.

NSU held a solid edge on the glass pulling down 44 rebounds to BSU's 36, but it was the Beavers that took command of the ball control battle forcing the Wolves into 16 turnovers, gaining 10 steals and turning those opportunities into 25 points.

Bemidji State's balanced scoring attack was led by Fields who netted 20 points on 6-of-14 from the floor, 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and a perfect 4-for-4 from the line. Five other Beavers managed double-figure point totals. Spencer Carter (Chicago, Ill.) poured in 17 points while pulling down a team-high seven rebounds. Beechum added 16 points and doled out a game-high seven assists while James Roberson (Chicago, ill.) and Muse each collected 15 points, hitting three treys apiece. Defensively, Ian Atkins rejected four Wolves' shots.

Matt Hammer's 29 points and 12 rebounds led the way for the Wolves.

The win lifts BSU to 16-8 overall while keeping a one-game lead over second place Winona State in the league standings with a 10-1 NSIC record. Northern State drops to 17-7 overall and 8-3 in conference play. BSU will make the trip to Moorhead, Minn. tonight for an 8:00 p.m. tip-off Saturday versus Minnesota State University-Moorhead.