BSU evens its record with 83-71 win over Augustana
Friday, November 18, 2005
VERMILLION, S.D. – The Bemidji State University men's basketball team rallied in the second half to overcome a five-point halftime deficit to defeat Augustana College 83-71 in the opening game of the South Dakota Classic Friday at the University of South Dakota's DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D. The Beavers shot better than 53 percent from the floor and hit 7-of-10 three-pointers in the final 20 minutes to down the Vikings.

Sherwin Johnson (Sr., G/F, Macon, Ga.) paced the Beavers and helped spark the rally tallying 16 of his game-high 20 points in the second half hitting four threes and going 6-of-9 from the floor. Derik Hollyfield (Sr., G, Aurora, Ill.) was also a major part of BSU's second half surge going a perfect 8-of-8 from the line netting all 14 of his points in the half while posting a BSU-best five assists in the win.

With Spencer Carter (Sr., F, Chicago, Ill.) battling foul trouble all night, newcomer Stacy Pearson-Taylor stepped in to lead the Beavers' rebounding effort grabbing a career-best 11 boards. He added 11 points for his first double-double in a BSU uniform.

The Coyotes were led by Ian Thomas who led a quartet of USD players in double-figures with 16 points. Preseason All-American Mike Klepatz was held to just six points but hauled in a team-high seven rebounds.

Alvin Muse (Sr., G, South Holland Ill.) got the Beavers on the board first hitting a three-pointer right out of the gates. But before five minutes had run off the clock, the Vikings took the lead (10-7) on a Thomas three-point basket. Augustana would continue to take advantage of BSU's cold shooting touch stretching its lead to nine points (18-9) before the midway point of the half.

With his team out of sorts, BSU head coach Patrick Smith called a timely timeout and his team would respond. The Beavers came out of the break hitting six of their next seven shots to sting together an 11-2 run to knot the game at 20-20 with 7:22 left before halftime.

The teams would battle for the lead during the final minutes of the stanza, but AC would collect seven of the last eight points to take a five-point advantage into the locker rooms at the half.

It took the Beavers just 5:34 into the second half to reel the Vikings in and knot the game at 42-42 when Johnson hit one of his four treys. During the next eight minutes and 10 seconds, the teams would battle for the lead as the game saw the score tied on seven occasions and the lead change hands nine times during the stretch. But a Pearson-Taylor layup with 4:52 to go in regulation would break the tie (67-65) and give the Beavers the lead for good.

Bemidji State outscored the Vikings 16-5 in the final 4:30 to solidify their first win of the 2005-06 season, 83-71, and even their record at 1-1 on the year.

BSU used its 53 percent (17-32) second half shooting effort to hold a 45 (30-66) to 37 (19-51) percent shooting advantage over the Vikings in the game. The team also dominated the glass holding a 49-36 upper hand in the rebounding differential.

Bemidji State will continue South Dakota Classic play tomorrow when the Beavers are slated to clash with the host University of South Dakota in the classic's final game. The contest is set for an 8 p.m. tip-off in USD's DakotaDome.