Beavers Fall to Northern State, 76-66 in 2005 NSIC Tournament Semifinal
Saturday, March 5, 2005
WINONA, Minn. – [box score] The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team had a hard time getting its offensive attack going Saturday as the team shot a season-low 35.9 percent from the floor in a 76-66 loss to Northern State University in the semifinal game of the 2005 NSIC Red Baron Classic.

The Beavers struggled to get their shots to drop through most of the first half. Although the team was getting good looks at the hoop, the shots were not falling.

After jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first 49-seconds of play, BSU hit just two field goals during the next seven-minutes and 24-seconds and would trail 12-8 at the 12:35 mark when head coach Pat Smith called a timeout.

Though the Beavers struggled offensively, their play on the defensive end of the floor kept NSU out of sync keeping BSU within striking distance, 24-18 with just under eight-minutes to go in the first.

But, a Spencer Carter (Chicago, Ill.) three-pointer from the top of the key with 5:50 to play in the half kick-started a 14-0 run by BSU that would vault them back into their first lead since the team held a 6-2 advantage early, 27-26. Five Beavers got in on the scoring during the streak.

The Beavers would continue to hold the lead, taking a 35-34 lead into the halftime break.

Northern State came out of halftime and got a quick three from Craig Nelson to regain the lead, 37-35.
The Wolves would go on to score six consecutive points as BSU would fail to put any points on the board during the first 4:15 of the half.

Senior Mike Fore (Bagley, Minn.) got an open look from the right wing to end the drought to bring the Beavers back within three, 40-37.

After bringing the score to within two points, 49-47, the Beavers hit another scoreless drought, this time for 3:11. BSU’s Pat Smith called a full timeout with 8:03 remaining to try to regroup as the Beavers were down 53-47.

With 3:24 to play in the game, a NSU foul put Amir Major (Chicago, Ill.) at the line and he converted both free throws. The BSU defense again came up big on the other end of the floor as Carter got a steal and hit James Roberson (Chicago, Ill.) for a three to bring the Beavers to within 56-63.

With time running out, BSU resorted to putting the Wolves at the line, but NSU went 11-of-13 from the stripe during the final 2:48 to shut the door on the Beavers.

"Today's loss was as simple as us not hitting shots," said Beaver Head Coach Pat Smith, "We had too many dry runs offensively and shots we have made all year just didn't fall today."

Alvin Muse (South Holland, Ill.) who netted 16 points led the Beavers. Seniors Roberson and Major chipped in 12 and 11 points respectively.

Ian Atkins (Detroit, Mich.) collected a game-high eight boards while collecting a pair of blocks for Bemidji State.

Craig Nelson paced the Wolves netting a career-high 17 points while 2005 NSIC Player of the Year Matt
Hammer added 16. Hammer tied Levi Hamilton and Aaron Busack for a team-high seven rebounds.

The loss ends BSU’s season at 17-12 and the Beavers record in the NSIC Tournament to 4-6 all-time as the championship game continues to elude them. Northern State moved to 20-9 overall and will make its second consecutive appearance in the title game. The Wolves will face the winner of the other semifinal match-up at 4:00 p.m. between No. 5 Concordia-St. Paul and the host school, No. 1 Winona State Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

The 2005 NSIC Red Baron Classic Champion will gain an automatic birth into the North Central Regional in the NCAA Division II Tournament.