Bemidji State keeps pace with No. 23 Iowa State in 84-77 loss
Friday, November 11, 2005
AMES, Iowa – [box score] On the road versus Iowa State University, the No. 23 team in all of Division I basketball, the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team was probably not given a chance by many, but sometimes that is all the motivation a team needs. Tonight the Beavers kept the 11,140 Hilton Coliseum faithful in their seats until the final horn sounded, holding the Cyclones within striking distance for 40 minutes dropping the exhibition game 84-77.

Despite turning the ball over 32 times to Iowa State’s stingy zone defense, the Beavers played well enough keep ISU within 10 points for most of the game shooting 46 percent (29-63) from the floor slicing the deficit to as few as eight points several times during the second half.

Much of The Beavers’ success can be attributed to the play of BSU’s senior forward Spencer Carter (Chicago. Ill.). The 2004-05 NSIC rebounding champ continues to own the glass grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds while adding 22 points for the sixth double-double of his BSU career. Carter netted six of his team-high point total during a two-minute and 54-second 10-3 scoring run, reeling the Cyclones to within three points (34-31) with just over two-minutes to play in the first half. But ISU would counter with the final four points of the half to take a 38-31 lead into the halftime break.

Iowa State did go up by as many as 15 (60-45) points midway through the second stanza, but the Beavers would not back down. Sparked by a Carter jumper and three-pointer, ISU would not have an answer as BSU rattled off seven points during the next 90 seconds to cut the lead to eight (60-52). But the Beavers could never get over the hump as foul trouble began to eat away at the BSU line up in the final 10 minutes of the game.

BSU put the Cyclones on the free-throw line 40 times while making it to the line themselves just 13 times possibly costing the team the game. In addition to the 30 points ISU gained from the stripe, BSU lost Derik Hollyfield (Sr., G, Aurora, Ill.), Carter, Duane Fields (Sr., G, Los Angeles, Calif.) and Derrick Beechum (Sr., G, Davenport, Iowa) to foul trouble causing BSU head coach Pat Smith to dig deeper onto his bench than may have been desired.

“I think it had a lot of effect on the game tonight,” commented BSU Head Coach Pat Smith of the foul-shooting differential. “Obviously there is a respect factor that comes into play in games like this. I thought there were some 50-50 calls that went their way tonight but that is the name of the game and you have to learn to adjust to it. I am just glad we made 11 of the 13 shots we got.”

“I am really pleased with our overall effort,” Smith added. “Yes we committed 32 turnovers, but we made 32 turnovers and still scored 77 points. Hopefully we can get those turnovers into the teens and put up 100 point a few times this season.”

In addition to Carter’s double-double, Fields was six-of-10 from the field scoring 17 points while Alvin Muse (Sr., G, South Holland, Ill.) added 11 points and a BSU-best four assists.

Rahshan Clark paced the Cyclones netting a game-high 23 points while gathering seven boards. Will Blalock added 20 points while BSU held Preseason Al-American point guard Curtis Stinson in check allowing him just 14 points while forcing him into seven turnovers.

Bemidji State will be back in exhibition action tomorrow night when it travels to Des Monies, Iowa to battle Missouri Valley Conference member Drake University. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m. in Drake’s Knapp Center. The Beavers begin their 83rd year of competitive basketball Tuesday (Nov. 15) at 8 p.m. when they host former Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference foe University of Minnesota Duluth at the BSU Gymnasium.