Muse Fuels BSU's 92-83 Comeback Over Lake Superior State in 2004-05 Home Opener
Monday, November 22, 2004
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- [box score] You can put one in the books for Bemidji State University men's basketball coach Patrick Smith. After more than 400 head coaching victories at the junior college level, Smith made the transition to the NCAA D-II Bemidji State this summer and gained his first career win in a Monday night 92-83 triumph over Lake Superior State University. BSU junior Alvin Muse (South Holland, Ill.) scored a career-high 26 points on 11-of-12 from the field, 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and 1-of-2 from the line to pace the Beavers to their 2004-05 home-opening victory.

In a game that saw the score tied five times and the lead change hands on 17 occasions, BSU prevailed taking the lead for good when Muse, assisted by fellow junior Derrick Beechum (Davenport, Iowa), drained his third trey of the game to put BSU up 71-69. The three-pointer sparked a BSU run in which the Beavers would score 15 of the next 21 points to extend their lead to nine (84-75) with just over three minutes left on the clock.

Lake Superior State came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. The Lakers scored the first points of the game on three-point basket by Joel Whymer (3-0). But for every LSSU shot, Bemidji State had an answer.

During the first 9:22 of play, the lead changed hands 13 times. When the Lakers' All-GLIAC forward Scott Jamison sank a lay-up with just over 11 minutes to play in the first half, LSSU would not look back holding onto the the lead to for the remainder of the half and increasing their advantage to as many as nine points with just over one minute before the break.

Despite shooting 59.3 percent (16-27) from the floor and a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the arc, BSU found itself down 49-44 as it went to the locker room at halftime. The Lakers were 16-of-33 (.485) from the field in the stanza while hitting on 8-of 15 (.533) from downtown to keep up with the hot shooting- hands of the Beavers.

The Lakers also held a slight edge on the boards in the first half pulling down 18 to BSU's 15.

As the second half began the Beavers initiated their inch back into the game. Strong play in the defensive end of the court forced LSSU into three turnovers during the first five minutes while it missed four of its first 10 shots of the half. BSU hauled down those misses and converted them into points shrinking its deficit to just one (63-62) with 13:51 to play as Muse drained another three-pointer. At that point Muse took over hitting a jumper the next time down the court to give the Beavers their first lead since 11:38 to play in the first half. He would hit a three-pointer less than three minutes later to give BSU the lead for good and to help secure the team's first victory in the Smith era, 92-83.

The BSU sharp-shooting Muse nailed 19 of his game-high 26 points during the final 13:51 of the game accounting for 40 percent of the BSU offense in the second half. Fellow juniors Beechum and Duane Fields (Los Angeles, Calif) netted 16 and 17 points respectively while Spencer Carter (Chicago, Ill.) paced the team with a career-high seven boards and 14 points to round out the top four BSU scorers. Beechum also added a career-high eight assists in the game.

Lake Superior State was led by a 22-point, seven-rebound effort from Jamison. Jim Clement led the team with seven assists.

BSU shot a blistering 60 percent (36-60) from the floor and 53.8 (7-13) percent from three-point land in the game. The team bounced back in the second half to equal the Lakers' rebounding effort in the game (32-32) and forced LSSU into 14 second-half turnovers while committing just six of their own.

The win is the first for BSU over a team from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference since the team dropped Northern Michigan 84-78 Nov. 15, 1997. It also snapped a six-game non-conference losing streak.

The Beavers improve to 1-3 overall and look to add to that win total Wednesday (Nov. 24th) when the team welcomes the University of North Dakota to Memorial Hall for an 8:00 tip-off.