North Dakota Holds BSU Off 77-69 to Salvage Season Series Split
Friday, December 10, 2004
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- [box score] The Fighting Sioux of the University of North Dakota used an 11-0 run to begin the second half to break a 38-38 halftime tie and power to a 77-69 win over Bemidji State University Friday in front of 2,204 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The win solidified a split in the season series between the teams after BSU was victorious in the first meeting (Nov. 24) 68-57. Junior Duane Fields (Los Angeles, Calif.) led the way for BSU collecting 14 points while fellow junior Spencer Carter (Chicago, Ill.) pulled down a game-high eight boards in the loss.

The first half was a battle. The game was tied on seven occasions while the lead changed hands 10 times.

The Beavers found themselves in a 14-6 hole in the early going after allowing UND to run off eight consecutive points.

BSU would climb back into the lead from the free-throw line.

The Beavers went 7-of-7 from the line during the next three minutes to pull to within one point (14-13).

Bemidji State would grab the lead on a jumper by Fields with just over 10 minutes to play in the half. It would hold that lead for close to six minute stretching it to five before allowing the Sioux to score seven consecutive points regaining the lead (29-27).

BSU would match the Sioux bucket-for-bucket in the remainder of the half with Carter scoring his fifth point of the first on a lay-up to knot the game at 38-38 before the horn.

The Sioux held a slight shooting edge in the half making good on 12-of-29 for 41.4 percent while BSU hit 11-of-31 for 35.5 percent. BSU's saving grace was a 15-of-16 performance form the line (93.8 percent) including a perfect 5-for-5 from Fields and 4-for-4 from senior James Roberson (Chicago, Ill.). The Sioux also took a small advantage on the glass into the locker rooms at halftime (20-19).

BSU could not match the intensity of the Sioux as the second half got underway. UND nailed its first five shots to break the tie and take an 11-point advantage (49-38) 3:36 into the half. In those opening minutes BSU was 0-3 with a pair of turnovers. BSU also failed to grab its first rebound of the second half until Fields hauled in his second of the game 4:57 in.

BSU struggled to dig themselves out of the 11-point hole. The team would put together a run of 8-0 on a jumper by Cater and threes by Roberson and Mike Fore (Bagley, Minn.) coming within three points (51-48) with 14:14 to go. It would shrink the deficit to a basket (56-54) with 9:37 left on the clock, but the Sioux would score eight of the next 10 points and power on to increase their lead to 10 points with just over 95 seconds to play.

Although BSU's full-court press caused some problems for the Sioux in the final minute, the Beavers could not surpass UND falling 77-69.

The loss was the second consecutive loss to a North Central Conference opponent moving BSU to 2-4 on the season versus that league.

The Beavers finished the game 22-of-58 from the floor and 5-of-19 from behind the arc equaling a season-low three-point output set versus Regis University Dec. 1. UND shot 24-of 50 from the floor and 6-of-17 from beyond the three-point arc for 48 percent in the game. The Sioux also held a 38-30 edge on the boards while BSU won the turnover battle forcing 18 while committing 14.

Five Beavers reached double-digit scoring totals led by Fields. Derrick Beechum (Davenport, Iowa) tallied 13 while Roberson, Amir Major (Chicago, Ill.) and Carter each totaled 11 points. Carter and Major accounted for half of the Beavers' rebounds grabbing eight and seven respectively.

Mike Johnson led the Sioux scoring 15 points and hauling in eight rebounds. Caro Nobles also collected a game-high nine assists in the win.

BSU wrapped up the non-conference season with a 5-7 overall record. After the team's four-week hiatus for the semester break and the holidays it will begin its quest of its second consecutive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Regular Season Championship opening the conference season by hosting Concordia University-St. Paul January 7th in a contest slated for an 8:00 p.m. start.