Minnesota Duluth stuns Bemidji State in 77-66 overtime thriller
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
BEMIDJI, Minn. – [box score] Ryan Breidenbach tipped in an inbounds pass from Bryan Foss as time expired to lock the University of Minnesota Duluth in a 66-66 tie with the Bemidji State University men's basketball team pushing the game into overtime. The guard's tip-in proved to be a dagger in the heart of the Beavers as the BSU would go scoreless in the extra stanza dropping the game 77-66 Tuesday at the BSU Gymnasium.

Bemidji State saw its eight-point lead dwindle away, scoring just two points in the final 4:37 and going 0-for-6 from the field during the stretch.

The Bulldogs netted 10 of the final 12 points in the second half, including a seven-point run in the final 68 seconds capped with the Breidenbach tip-in.

"The game was not won or lost at the end, it was lost with about two or three minutes to play when we should have gotten some stops and done some things execution-wise," commented BSU head coach Patrick Smith after the game.

"Maybe we took off before this thing was over. You've got to play every play when it comes to winning time and you have to increase your execution. Our play seemed to be a little bit decreased down the stretch." said Smith."We had the game to win right down to the last play."

Clinging to a two-point lead (66-64) with just three seconds on the clock, senior guard Duane Fields (Los Angeles, Calif.) missed the front end of a one-and-one. Foss corralled the errant shot for his game-high 16th rebound of the night and the Bulldogs called a time out to stop the clock with less than three seconds to play. After a failed inbounds attempt from the just beyond the timeline bounced off Fields and out of bounds near the UMD bench with four-tenths of a second on the clock, Foss' desperation pass connected with Breidenbach above the rim and the junior completed the play as the buzzer sounded to extend the game.

The last-second tip-in proved to take the wind of of the Beavers' sail. BSU failed to score in the five-minute overtime period going 0-for-6 from the floor and committing a pair of turnovers.

UMD, on the other hand, took full advantage of its possessions. Despite missing a pair of free-throws, the Bulldogs were 4-6 from the field including a pair of old-fashion three-point plays.

"It is a disappointing loss...really disappointing,' commented Smith. "Its probably the toughest loss I have had in 24 years [of coaching]. But that's what life is all about. Now we have to bounce back, be resurgent and tough." He added, "We've got a tough stretch of games coming up."

After falling behind, 21-9, 11 minutes into the game, BSU used a run of 10-3 during the next two minutes to close the UMD lead to five (24-19) but out shot 34 to 44 percent in the half, that was as close as the Beavers would get using the halftime break to regroup down 35-28.

BSU came out in the first five minutes of the second stanza to shave the Bulldogs' advantage to just one point (42-41). But UMD's Jordan Nuness hit a jumper and a three to spark an 8-4 run putting the Bulldogs back up by seven (52-45) at the midway point of the second half.

Stacy Pearson-Taylor (Sr., F/G,Miami, Fla.) ignited a second BSU run converting a three-point play after being fouled on a lay-up. Alvin Muse (Sr., G, South Holland, Ill.) took the torch and ripped the nets for eight points during the next 73 seconds to put BSU up four (56-52).

Derik Hollyfield (Sr., G, Aurora, Ill.) would stretch the BSU lead to eight points (64-56) on a three-pointer with 4:37 to play, but BSU would score just two points in the remainder of regulation and overtime allowing UMD to steal the 2005-06 home opener.

Seaman led the Bulldogs posting 19 points on 6-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-7 from behind the arc. John Emerson added 15 points nailing 4-of-9 from downtown while Foss posted his second consecutive double-double versus the Beavers adding 14 points to his game-high 16 rebounds.

BSU was paced by Muse who led all players with 23 points on 9-of-17 on the night, including five threes, and added seven rebounds. Hollyfield added 11 points as Spencer Carter (Sr., F, Chicago, Ill.) led BSU with 10 boards and four steals.

The Bulldogs out shot the Beavers on the night, making good on 25-of-59 shots (.424), including a .667 (4-6) performance in overtime, to BSU's 25-for-72 (.347) overall.

Foss helped the Bulldogs to a 45-39 edge on the boards, but the BSU defense scared up 21 UMD turnovers while the Beavers committed just 15 of their own.

The Beavers fall to 0-1 on the season and are 0-2 under Smith in season-openers--ironically falling to Minnesota Duluth on both occasions.

Bemidji State will be back in action this weekend as it travels to Vermillion, S.D. to participate in the University of South Dakota's South Dakota Classic. The Beavers will open the event with a 6 p.m. non-conference affair versus Augustana College and will battle host USD in the classic's final game 8 p.m. Saturday.