Bemijdi State downs North Dakota 87-63
BEMIDJI, Minn.– [box score] The Bemidji State University men's basketball team led from wire to wire Saturday afternoon in the BSU Gymnasium moving to 4-5 on the season with a 87-63 non-conference win over the University of North Dakota.
Sparked by a pair of Duane Fields (Sr., G, Los Angeles, Calif.) three-point field goals to open the game, BSU scored the first eight points and would stretch that lead to 20 points (31-11) during the next 12 minutes as the team hit 12 of its first 20 shots (.600).
Although the Fighting Sioux would go on a six-point run to cut the BSU lead to 14 points (31-17) with 5:23 to go in the half, BSU would bounce back to stretch their lead back to 19 points (43-24) before the halftime horn sounded.
The Beavers finished the first 20 minutes shooting 17-for-31 (.548) from the floor including a 7-for-13 (.538) effort from beyond the arc while UND was 9-of-25 (.360) during the same span.
Bemidji State also dominated the glass in the first half as Alex Smith (So., F, Miami, Fla.) and Alvin Muse (Sr., G, South Holland, Ill.) each grabbed five rebounds to help the Beavers gain a 21-11 edge on the boards.
The Sioux opened the second half collecting five consecutive points to reel BSU to within 14 (43-29), but the Beavers responded with a Derik Hollyfield (Sr., G, Aurora, Ill.) three and a quick Sherwin Johnson (Sr., G/F, Macon, Ga.) lay-up to extend their advantage back to 19 with 17 minutes remaining in the game.
UND would hit the next two shots to come within 14 yet again with 15:45 to go, but BSU would net the next six points to take a 20-point lead (54-34) with 10 minutes to go in the game.
The Beavers would hit six of their next nine shots to take a 29-point advantage (82-53) capped with the first career three my freshman James Gibson (G, Miami, Fla.)
"I am really, really pleased with the way our kids are guarding," said head coach Pat Smith after the victory. "In my opinion this is the fourth straight good game we have played."
"Tonight we came out and did a great job running our offense. We have a lot of guys that can score, we just have to learn to continually play better together."
"We are a team that is going to get better throughout the year. Playing the schedule we have, we are 4-5 and could and should have have won two more games." He continued "I am pleased that we are getting better playing a schedule that is getting us ready for the conference season."
BSU shot an even 50 percent (34-68) in the game hitting 12 three-point baskets on its way to the 87-63 win. The Beavers also held a convincing edge on the glass grabbing 40 to UND's 29.
Fields and Muse paced BSU with 19 points apiece while carter netted 10 points to join them in double figures. Smith added one second half rebound gather a career-high six caroms while Hollyfield led all players with six assists.
The Fighting Sioux were led by Mike Gutter who equaled Muse and Fields for a game-high 19 points on 8-of-9 from the field. Daniel Harkins matched Smith's game-high pulling down six boards.
The win brings BSU to 4-5 on the season while North Dakota falls to 6-4 over all. The Beavers will look to get back to .500 next Saturday when they travel 90 miles to the west to battle the same UND squad. Tip-off is slated for 5:00 p.m. at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.